2017 Wisdom Tooth Award Recipient: UIC College of Dentistry

UIC College of Dentistry awarded $100,000 from Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation
Grant to help provide much-needed dental services to underserved Illinois children

More than 800 low-income Illinois children with immediate dental needs are on a two-year waiting list for procedures that require general anesthesia at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry pediatric dental clinic. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, is granting its fifth annual $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award to the UIC College of Dentistry for general anesthesia equipment that will help these children receive the critical oral health care they need sooner.

Families travel from all over the state for their children to receive care at the UIC College of Dentistry pediatric dental clinic, making it the largest dental Medicaid provider for Illinois children. Of the more than 9,000 children served at the clinic annually, many must be treated under general anesthesia because of their young age, extensive dental treatment or special health care needs. Limited access to operating rooms at the University of Illinois Hospital severely limits access for children needing procedures.

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award will help fund general anesthesia equipment, allowing UIC College of Dentistry to provide general anesthesia directly in the building.

“We are delighted that our 2017 Wisdom Tooth Award will have a positive impact on so many children in Illinois,” said Bernie Glossy, president of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors and president and CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois. “We are honored to provide support that will help UIC College of Dentistry improve oral health access and reduce the amount of time children have to wait to receive dental treatment.”

Each year, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation grants the Wisdom Tooth Award to an organization that significantly improves the oral health of Illinois children, in keeping with its mission to improve oral health in Illinois through education, awareness and improved access to care. This year, the Foundation selected the UIC College of Dentistry pediatric dental clinic from 20 applicants.

“Sadly, we see many young children who already have a lot of cavities. Cavities are preventable, but many families lack access to dental care and the education that’s essential to properly care for children’s oral health,” said Dr. Marcio da Fonseca, head of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the UIC College of Dentistry. “After waiting two years for a dental procedure, children’s minor dental issues can become serious, affecting both their oral and overall health. We are so thankful for Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s support, which is vital in helping us treat children sooner and reduce the problems that can arise when dental issues go untreated.”

For more information about Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s Wisdom Tooth Award or to support the Foundation, please visit deltadentalil.com/ddilfoundation.

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