Rice Regional Dental Clinic
EDUCATING future dental providers
CARING for the underserved
Rice Regional Dental Clinic (RRDC) was established in 2007, by Rice Memorial Hospital, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, to train dental students and to meet the critical need of area residents with no access to dental services. Before the Dental Clinic, many of those patients sought help in the Hospital’s Emergency Department. The Clinic has performed over 140,000 dental procedures on more than 13,000 patients from 17 counties. Patients include senior citizens on fixed incomes; the mentally ill and developmentally challenged; infants and children; and low-income working families.
Rice Health Foundation’s 2016 fundraising focus is on the Rice Regional Dental Clinic. Our goal is to raise $500,000 by December 31st. The money we raise will allow Rice Memorial Hospital and Rice Regional Dental Clinic to provide dental services for people of all ages who have no other options! Please help provide health smiles for thousands in the region. Everyone deserves a smile!
To manage the increasing number of people seeking emergency services resulting from chronic dental disease, Rice Memorial Hospital partnered with the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and several grant making organizations to establish Rice Regional Dental Clinic (RRDC) in 2007. RRDC provides services to people with limited or no access to dental care and educates dental, dental therapy and dental hygiene students in a rural setting.
Sources of funds to operate the clinic include: 1) the University of Minnesota – for operational and faculty support to students performing clinical rotations; 2) Rice Memorial Hospital – for a 10 chair clinic facility, initial startup, ongoing operational and staffing costs; and 3) grant makers – for initial startup, equipment, operational and program costs.
140,000 dental procedures have been performed on 13,129 patients from 17 counties, since RRDC opened its doors in 2007.
RRDC is the dental home for 579 children ages 0-3 years. This is a major step toward reducing dental cavities in young children and teaching parents about the benefits of good oral hygiene and healthy diets.
Annual screenings and other dental services are provided to children attending Head Start programs or receiving free and reduced lunch, retirees, low income working families, and others who cannot afford private dental services.
RRDC is also the only year-round hospital-based dental clinic where students from the University complete their required dental outreach rotations. Over half of each graduating class (639 students to date), have completed clinical rotations at RRDC.
- Nearly half of adults over age 30 suffer from some form of gum disease.
- One in four children under age five has cavities.
- Dental cavities are the most common chronic disease affecting 60% of children ages 5-17 years old.
- Between 2000 and 2010, the number of emergency department visits in the U.S. for dental conditions doubled, from 1.1 million to 2.1 million.
- Lack of dental care results in chronic dental disease which impacts overall health and can lead to death.
One third of RRDC’s annual $1.11M budget comes from grants. Even though 80% of the patients served are covered under Medicare or MN Care, reimbursement for services to patients is only $.20 on the dollar.
Initial grant funds to open and operate the clinic are now depleted.
Without philanthropic support, RRDC will no longer be able to offer oral health services to those in need – senior citizens on Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare; the mentally ill and developmentally challenged; and poor working families, including infants and children.
In addition to seeking new grants and private donations to fund these services, Rice Health Foundation will designate proceeds from its 2016 gala fundraiser to support oral health in the region.
Financial contributions to keep community oral health services available, are critical to the overall health and well-being of residents in West Central and Southwest Minnesota. Your gift will help fund the following:
- Pediatric Dental Clinic to continue the early childhood program for infants when they get their first tooth; a dedicated weekly dental clinic for older children; the annual Give Kids a Smile Day; as well as education and outreach services to families with young children – $165,000
- Dental Supplies (dentures, fluoride, fillings, etc.) for all patients – $130,000
- Dental Equipment – $205,000