The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in five children between the ages of five to 11 has at least one untreated cavity. Without quality dental care, these children could develop oral infections or other serious dental problems.
In recent years, mobile dentistry at schools has been identified as an option that can help fill the gap in dental care for students who do not normally have access to treatment. If any of your coworkers recently received a letter from their children’s school explaining that a mobile dentist will be offering services there soon, they may have a lot of questions: Should they allow their children to utilize these dentistry services? Will your company insurance cover the cost of the treatment?
While you can’t make their decisions for them, you can offer a few insights that will help them choose. Here’s what your colleagues should do when deciding whether to allow their children to see a mobile dentist at school.
Research the Mobile Dentistry Providers
The first piece of advice you can give to your team members is to look into what services are offered in the schools. Knowing what treatments are available will help each of your colleagues make the best decision for their family. Some providers may only offer a cleaning, while others can perform a full range of treatments and complete fillings, X-rays, sealants and even extractions.
But your coworkers shouldn’t stop there. Employees should look into who will be providing the services and ask a few questions. Are the dentists and hygienists licensed? Have there ever been any complaints made against the providers? Do they have experience working with children? Knowing these answers will likely help individuals feel more at ease with their decisions.
Next Step: Contact the Insurance Provider
After checking in on the type of services and who is providing them, encourage your coworkers to contact the dental insurance company to find out if their insurance will cover any of the treatments offered. Some providers will cover all the costs involved with mobile dentistry, while others will only pay a small percentage (if anything at all). Knowing the cost and coverage up front will help team members decide whether mobile dentistry is right for their families.
Should Workers Allow Their Children to Get Treatment at School?
One of the benefits of students visiting a mobile dentist is they don’t have to take more time out of the school day to attend preventive or restorative appointments. In addition, most children are already comfortable in a school environment, whereas going to a brand new dental office may increase their anxiety. However, if insurance doesn’t cover the cost of services—and your fellow employees cannot afford treatments on their own—mobile school dentistry might not be the best option.
The bottom line is that allowing a child to visit a mobile dentist who comes to his or her school is a personal decision that each individual parent must consider. Some students may be excited for the opportunity to receive treatment during the school day while others may feel more hesitant—and both reactions are fine.