Cass Community Health Foundation reaches record number of children in free screenings

KANSAS CITY, Mo., (March 8, 2016) – Cass Community Health Foundation (CCHF) and the Cass County Dental Clinic completed a record number of free dental screenings during the 2015-2016 school year. 3,765 students from Cass County area schools received access to improved dental health with the help of 97 volunteer dentists, dental hygienists, community members and pre-dental and nursing students.

CCHF and the Cass County Dental Clinic partnered with Missouri Oral Health Preventive Services, a program of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, to provide these free screenings, oral health education, oral hygiene supplies and, with parental consent, two fluoride varnish applications to youth in pre-K through 12th grade. The program recently expanded to nine school districts including Archie, Belton, Drexel, East Lynne, Grandview, Harrisonville, Midway, Raymore-Peculiar and Strasburg. The Adrian, Belton and Harrisonville Head Start Programs also participated.

The 3,765 students screened in those districts is a significant increase from the 2,739 students screened during the 2014-2015 school year. Of those 3,765 children screened, 23.9% had untreated tooth decay and were referred for further care.

“Any Medicaid or low-income student identified through a school screening as needing urgent dental care has the opportunity to be seen at Cass County Dental Clinic within 48 hours of the time a call is made. This availability for the students and their families helps to ensure services can be performed in our safety-net dental clinic,” Amy Castle, Cass County Dental Clinic practice manager said.

The Cass County Dental Clinic is the first and only full time safety-net dental clinic in Cass County that provides dental care to children ages zero to 20 who are insured by Missouri Medicaid or are low-income and uninsured. In 2015, the clinic treated 2,736 underserved children through 5,735 dental visits.

“We continue to see an increase in the number of children receiving dental care through both our free dental screening program and our clinics in Belton and Harrisonville. This increase is an indicator that our programs are providing underserved Cass County youth more access to improved dental health, which is a contributing factor to overall health,” Cynthia Randazzo, CCHF president, said.

Call 816-276-4218 for more information about the CCHF dental screening program.