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Investing in a Healthy Community

 
dental program

The goal of St. David's Dental Program is to eliminate the barriers of economics, language, and transportation for the disadvantaged to access dental care. St. David’s Dental Program partners with most Title I schools to provide free dental care to elementary school children. We also provide services to eligible adults, mostly during the summer months, at select local clinics and social service organizations.

With one of the largest fleets of mobile dental clinics in the country, St. David’s Dental Program offers free dental screenings, sealants and acute care to children at Title I elementary schools across six school districts in Central Texas, as well as to adults referred by area safety net clinics and the Health Alliance of Austin Musicians (HAAM). Each of the nine vans is equipped with two dental exam rooms, digital x-rays, and computer workstations. The vans are staffed by licensed dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants.

Click on a question below to learn more about the dental program. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.

Who do you serve?

From August through May, we treat elementary school children who attend Title I schools in Austin, Del Valle, Hays, Manor, Pflugerville and Round Rock ISDs. When school is not in session, we partner with area social service agencies. Click here for a map of our service area.

What do you provide?

We provide free preventive and restorative dental treatment at select schools with our mobile dental vans. The vans are well-equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, allowing program dentists to provide high-quality care. Preventive and restorative services include exams, fillings, x-rays, extractions, cleanings, sealants, and root canals. Our dental staff are licensed, full-time, paid staff.

How does a visit from the dental program work?

Four weeks before the clinic: Parents are given an opportunity to exclude their child from participating in a free dental screening.

Three weeks before: Staff dentist and an assistant visit the school to conduct a screening, where the dentist visually examines each child. If the dentist determines that a child has visible decay and is a candidate for treatment on the mobile clinic, the child will receive a treatment consent form for the parent to sign and return.

Two weeks before: Dental Program staff collects signed consent forms.

During clinic: Students are treated between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Dental Program staff will come to each classroom to escort children with signed consent forms to and from the mobile clinic.

After clinic: Dental Program staff provides the school with documentation of the patients treated and delivers gift certificates to teachers with 100 percent consent form return rates.

Patients with severe decay may need more than one appointment. Emergency appointments are scheduled between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Do you offer any oral health education?

Our program offers dental health education to the schools and partner agencies we serve. The school-aged presentation focuses on fostering an understanding about the importance of healthy teeth and highlighting positive dental health practices by using interactive demonstrations, experiments, and games.

Parent presentations serve to educate, inform, and remind parents about proper dental hygiene instruction and appropriate nutrition for themselves and their families. Bilingual dental health materials, publications, and dental products are distributed at the end of each presentation.

Our health educator also attends Health Fairs in order to educate entire families on the importance of brushing and flossing.

Please contact our Health Education Manager for more information or to schedule a presentation.

What do I do if a student has a dental health emergency?

A school nurse or other school staff may decide it is appropriate to refer a student to the St. David’s Dental Program. If so, we will need the child's parent to call and schedule an appointment.

Otherwise, you may need to contact a private dentist or community clinic. In case of an emergency, take the child to an emergency department or call 911.

Some specific problems that may need immediate attention:

  • Toothache without injury or accident
  • Loose or knocked-out permanent tooth
  • Fractured, chipped, or broken tooth
  • Uncontrolled or recurring bleeding
  • Recurrent, continual bleeding after extraction
  • Inflamed gums
  • Possible fractured jaw
  • Possible infection or growth

Do you treat adults?

We only treat adults who are referred through one of our partner agencies/clinics:

  • Peoples Community Clinic
  • El Buen Samaritano
  • Volunteer Clinic
  • Health Alliance for Austin Musicians

If you are patient of one of the above agencies and would like to receive dental services, please contact your agency or clinic and they will direct you on how to proceed.

Where else can I go to find dental care?

TRAVIS COUNTY

CommUnityCare Dental Clinic

512-978-9015

Manos de Cristo Dental Clinic

512-477-2319

HAYS COUNTY

CommuniCare Kyle

512-268-8900

Each clinic has eligibility and payment requirements.

How can I find insurance and payment assistance programs?

Children's Health Insurance (CHIP)

1-800-647-6558

insure-a-kid

512-324-2447

Medicaid Providers

1-800-252-8263 or 211

Medical Assistance Program (MAP Card)

512-978-8130

How can I find out more?

For information on when the dental van might be in your area, contact us at 512-294-5509.