March 8, 2017

CT Medicaid dental provider exceeds $3M in uncompensated care for uninsured

Kool Smiles dentists, which provide dental care for underserved children and families at five locations in Connecticut, have provided $3.6 million in uncompensated dental care since 2009, the company said Tuesday.

More than 85,000 patients in Connecticut received dental treatment when they didn't have access to the Medicaid dental benefit or other dental insurance, and could not afford to pay out of pocket, Kool Smiles said. Kool Smiles accepts insurance plans, including Medicaid and TRICARE, but provides uncompensated care when insurance does not cover needed treatments.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among U.S. children and dental care is one of their greatest unmet health needs, especially in low-income, minority, and rural communities, Kool Smiles said, citing a 2016 Pew Charitable Trusts report. In Connecticut, 11 percent of third-graders had untreated cavities in 2011, the company said, citing a state report.

Kool Smiles has offices in Hartford, New Britain, Waterbury, New Haven and Bridgeport.

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