Frequently Asked Questions About MobileSmiles
Each patient is evaluated by a licensed dental professional who will treat the patient’s most pressing dental need. Then, a patient may expect access to these types of services:
- Oral hygiene instruction
- Extractions (removing teeth)
- Fluoride varnish
At this time, we are not able to do braces, crowns, bridges/partials, dentures, oral surgery or root canals. MobileSmiles does not dispense medications.
MobileSmiles Oklahoma is a collaborative program of the Oklahoma Dental Foundation and other non-profits, schools, churches, and community-focused groups. The program eliminates financial, geographic, and situational barriers to dental care access by bringing a professional mobile dental facility to locations served by site partners.
The fully staffed professional mobile dental facility will arrive to work with a community partner that is already addressing many health issues. The dental team consists of a licensed dentist, two dental assistants and many days, two dental students. Our state-of-the-art MobileSmiles dental facilities travel throughout Oklahoma to deliver dental care and education in locations that have the greatest need for community members – with the least ability to acquire oral health care without our involvement.
No. When the program visits a community or “site,” it works with a local “site partner,” which is a nonprofit organization, school, church or agency that is responsible for qualifying and scheduling patients.
No. Patients must be scheduled by a local site partner. Prospective patients may contact the local organization directly and see if they can add you to their list.
Everyone needs a dental home where they receive consistent professional cleanings and exams every six months and other dental care as needed. The goal of the MobileSmiles program is to provide care to patients currently without a dental home and – when possible – to connect the patient to a local dentist to serve as his/her dental home. As MobileSmiles programming continues to develop, the dental facility may become a dental home for some communities.
The unique funding model of MobileSmiles focuses on assuring that communities with great need can bring in dental health services. Each site partner is asked to provide a “community investment payment” which assists in covering the average daily operational cost of $3,100 (charged per mobile unit per day – this investment by the community is vital to the partnership component of the program). Additional support subsidizes the program from charitable donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses. The State of Oklahoma also provides underwriting support through a direct appropriation by the Legislature and through SoonerCare.
A site partner is, typically, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, government agency, church, school or community-focused program. Site partners provide a community investment payment per day of service. This is a small part of the actual cost of bringing the mobile unit to the community (which is approximately $3,100), but it’s vital to the sustainability of the program. When necessary, we encourage site partners to apply for grants or to ask local businesses or churches to serve as “site sponsors” by covering all or part of the site fee. Typically, more than $5,000 in dental care is delivered in a single site visit, so site partners provide their community with a valuable service.
In some situations, a business may serve as a site partner as well as a site sponsor. A site sponsor provides all or part of the community investment fee.