The St. David’s Foundation Dental Program operates a fleet of mobile dental clinics in collaboration with local schools and community-based agencies to deliver free dental care to underserved children in Central Texas. In the wake of COVID-19, our dental team has been hard at work to pivot how we can provide the same quality of care while keeping staff and patients healthy and safe.
Currently, the Dental Program has resumed clinical care seeing patients by appointment on a limited basis as we continue to closely monitor evolving guidelines to ensure the safest care and environment possible. Our enhanced infection control procedures and revised dental care protocols follow the recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Every Smile Tells a Story
With a fleet of nine mobile dental clinics, our Healthy Smiles program is spreading big, healthy smiles across Central Texas. As the largest mobile dental program providing charity care in the nation, we’re honored to be a model for similar efforts across the country.
Our program offers free dental screenings, sealants and acute care to students at high needs elementary schools within six Central Texas school districts. When school’s not in session, our vans visit safety net clinics to serve adults and families.
Each of our nine vans is equipped with two dental exam rooms, digital x-rays, and computer workstations. Our dedicated dentists, hygienists and dental assistants literally change lives, not only by addressing immediate needs, but also by educating students and instilling dental hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.
How Our Program Works
Step 1: Complete Dental Screenings
During screenings, a licensed dentist will be looking at children’s teeth with a mirror to determine if they need treatment. If the dentist determines the child needs treatment, they will receive a ‘Dental Treatment Consent Form’ for parent’s approval. Students who do not need further treatment will also receive a form letting their parents know that no treatment is necessary.
Step 2: Distribute Dental Treatment Consent Forms at School
If during the screening the dentist determines that a student needs treatment, they will give them a Dental Treatment Consent Form for their parent’s signature. It is important that forms are filled completely. If a parent does not wish for their child to receive care, they may indicate so on the form and return.
Step 3: Provide Free Dental Care to Students
Our vans will arrive at the school and treat students who have returned signed Dental Treatment Consent Forms. Our trained and licensed staff will take students from class for treatment on the vans, and will return them when finished. Depending on the child’s need, multiple trips to the van may be necessary. Our staff is skilled with children and make sure they enjoy their visit, and miss as little class as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following services are provided free by licensed professionals on the mobile dental clinic alongside your child’s school during school hours:
- Sealants (adult teeth only)
- White Fillings (adult teeth only)
From August through May, we treat elementary school children who attend Title I schools and charter 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.
Dental Screening Forms are distributed before we arrive at a school for screenings. If a parent does not wish for their child to be screened, they must sign and return the Dental Screening Form to their child’s teacher. No action is required from parents who want their children to be screened.
With parental permission, any student who receives a dental consent form is eligible to be seen on the mobile dental clinics when they arrive at the school. The mobile dental clinic can provide child with free dental services regardless of the child’s insurance status.
Our care does not affect your child’s eligibility for insurance, we provide 100% free dental care and do not bill insurance.
No, St. David’s Foundation hires Board Certified licensed dentist, hygienists, and dental assistants to give free high-quality dental care to children at their schools.
No, students are pulled out of class and taken directly to the dental vans for treatment, and then returned to class. There is no need for a parent to be present for student to be treated on the mobile dental van during school hours.