UT gets $375K grant for dental care for low-income families

The School of Dentistry at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center at San Antonio has been awarded a five-year, $375,000 Access to Care Grant from Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC), the foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

The grant will help low-income families at the Ricardo Salinas Pediatric Dental Clinic on San Antonio's West Side, where the dental school provides care. The clinic is the only pediatric dental clinic in San Antonio that provides comprehensive dental care to children whose families cannot afford it.

The clinic was established in 2003 through a partnership between the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the School of Dentistry. Dental students, residents, and faculty members from the dental school provide the dental care at the clinic. Services provided there for fiscal year 2012-2013 have an estimated value of more than $1.4 million, based on Medicaid payment rates.

"We are grateful to Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children for this grant that will allow us to offer comprehensive dental care to thousands of children," stated Kevin Donly, DDS, a professor and the chair of developmental dentistry at the dental school, in a press release.

"This grant will help us increase care from 5,100 to nearly 6,000 children a year. Because we offer comprehensive care -- prevention, emergency, restorative, and sedation care -- we offer a safety net and dental home for these children," Donly continued.

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