The Oklahoma Dental Foundation started a mobile care program in 2006, and 15 years later, they are still racking up the miles with a smile.
“It’s just an amazing opportunity to meet so many different people from so different backgrounds who unfortunately don’t have access to care,” said Dr. Daryn Lu, dentist for Mobile Smiles Oklahoma.
This is where Mobile Smiles Oklahoma comes in. The association helps around 2,000 patients a year with free dental care.
“The ability to just go to patients in specific communities and provide these services to them is something that’s really unique to what we have,” Lu said.
Now, thanks to a large check for $ 500,000 from the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation, the association will be able to provide more exams.
The Mobile Smiles unit gets a bit long in the tooth, roaming the ruthless roads of Oklahoma from Guymon to Tulsa and everywhere in between.
The $ 500,000 grant will provide a whole new unit for the nonprofit organization.
“I think this is a critical time because it has not become uncommon for the mobile unit to have to be in the workshop, and this certainly has an impact on its ability to serve the state,” said Terrisa Singleton , director of the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation.
Timing is also critical with so many people delaying dental appointments during the pandemic.
“I think the mobile unit is definitely going to have a backlog to catch up on for a while,” Singleton said. “There is always a need out there, and we’re doing our best to reach everyone we can.”
The $ 500,000 grant will also cover operating costs for the entire year.