BELTON, Mo., (Mar. 18, 2021) – Cass Community Health Foundation (CCHF) is piloting a teledentistry program in select Cass County and Grandview schools for young students in the community. The services are made possible by funding from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Delta Dental of Missouri.
Staff members of CCHF’s safety net dental clinic, Cass County Dental Clinic, travel to area schools to provide essential oral health care to students. The clinic’s registered dental hygienist, Jasmine Griechen, captures images, videos, and x-rays that are examined by Cass County Dental Clinic dentist Dr. Madeline Sloan. Dr. Sloan assesses the images to develop a treatment plan that is either delivered in a school-based setting or at the dental clinic. The teledentistry team is providing a convenient service for patients and based on findings, treating many children who do not have access to routine oral health treatment.
“Providing access to oral health care for kids in Cass County and the surrounding area has always been our priority,” Katie Schroeder, CCHF director of dental programs, said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how important this goal really is. Teledentistry has significant positive effects during a time when our patients face several obstacles while trying to access dental services.”
The pilot program began in the fall of 2020 and will continue throughout the spring of 2021. CCHF and Cass County Dental Clinic have served 129 students with Medicaid or are low-income and have no dental insurance across the Belton and Grandview school districts. Families with children enrolled at Butcher-Greene Elementary, Cambridge Elementary, Conn West Elementary, Gladden Elementary, Hillcrest STEAM Academy, Kentucky Trail Elementary, and Meadowmere Elementary have been given the opportunity to sign up for teledentistry services. Of these students, 91 have been identified by the clinic staff as having dental issues requiring care and nearly half, 47%, have or are scheduled to receive that treatment at Cass County Dental Clinic. The goal is to treat approximately 320 students before the pilot program is complete.