Thanks to a grant from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, Hennepin County Medical Center will begin offering dental services to people with the highest need in their nationally recognized Coordinated Care Center.
As part of a $4.6 million grant announced in March 2016 to create a dental clinic at HCMC, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation provided $255,000 to add a dental room and services to HCMC’s Coordinated Care Center – an ambulatory intensive care unit which serves the most complex patients. The room, expected to open in October, will provide more than 1,000 dental visits annually to patients who face obstacles to obtaining health care.
People who suffer from health disparities – including poverty, homelessness or addiction – have difficulty following through with health appointments, and this population is more likely to use emergency services for dental issues. In addition to being more expensive overall, this disparate patchwork of health care is not good for the health of the patient. In fact, most of these patients have been unable to obtain dental care for decades. Using an advanced dental therapist, dental hygienist, and tele-dentistry, the dental room in the Coordinated Care Center is an effort to address these issues.