Dental Outreach Program and The Toothbus®
The dental outreach program and Mission Children’s Hospital offer education, prevention and complete dental care by providing a dental office directly to children at school via The ToothBus®, a 40-foot-long mobile dental office. Additionally, our program provides child-friendly surgical care in an operating room under general anesthesia when children have special needs or require extensive dental care. The purpose of the program is to improve the oral health of children across western North Carolina regardless of their financial status.
Mission Children’s Hospital provides dental care to children who may not otherwise receive it for a variety of reasons including: the child needs extensive work that requires treatment under general anesthesia; there are not enough dentists who see children in some areas; and/or there are not enough dentists who accept Medicaid as payment in western North Carolina. The ToothBus® is set up to provide the same services offered in a traditional dental office in remote areas that have no other access to care. The bus travels the rural, mountainous roads to take care of children during the day at their at their elementary school site so that parents do not have to take time off from work. For very young children who need extensive work or may have special needs, the operating room option to have all of their work done at one time addresses these concerns. Once the child receives full-mouth restoration in the operating room, they return to their dentist in the community (or The ToothBus®) to continue receiving routine checkups. If they do not have a dentist in the community, our program assists them with locating a regular dentist.
Patients are accepted by a referral from a physician or a self-referral. Physicians should fax a referral form to (828) 213-1705. To make a self-referral or for more information about our services, please call (828) 213-1700.