California faces the challenge of caring for the largest percentage of
children without health insurance in the country. Health Mobile is committed
to treating the uninsured and at-risk youth documented in the following
- According to the
Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health, released in May of 2000, 108 million
without health insurance. Uninsured children are 2.5 times less
likely to receive dental treatments than their insured peers. The repercussions
for untreated oral disorders for children are numerous: lowered self-esteem and
self-image, a decline in everyday social interactions, and a vulnerability to
suffering from chronic stress or depression. The Surgeon General concluded that
compromised oral health affects sleep, nutrition, work, school, and social relationships.
the Surgeon General's Report in its entirety. (LINK http://www.nidr.nih.gov/sgr/sgr.htm).
report from the Dental Health Foundation further highlights the effects of minimized
access to dental care: "Among school-age children in the U.S., 25% experience
75% of the tooth decay. That 25% typically represents children who are from economically
or socially disadvantaged families, children who have some type of disabling condition,
or children who experience other barriers to preventive and treatment services."
to the California Oral Health Needs Assessment, conducted in 1993 and 1994, 21
percent of 10th-grade students in California were already suffering from extensive
tooth decay, infection, pain, or other urgent dental needs (FIGURE 1). Some degree
of tooth decay was found in 78 percent of the students examined, and evidence
of the early stages of gum disease in 40 percent. A staggering 44 percent of these
California students had no dental health insurance and just 10 percent received
dental coverage through Medi-Cal (FIGURE 2). Consequently, 12 percent of 10th
graders had never seen the inside of a dentist's office. [George should have these
- In February of 2000, Tooth Mobile conducted a screening
of 102 students at the San Mateo FUTURES Bayshore site. Only 3 of the more than
one hundred students did not require follow-up dental procedures. The remaining
99 children required the following treatments:
76% were in need of
64% were in need of fillings.
22% were in need of Pulpectomies
7% were in need of crowns.
Eighty-three percent of the
children reported never having seen a dentist.