Since 2012, the Ronald McDonald House has been providing a mobile dental clinic to kids in need throughout western North Dakota.
In six years of service, it has treated 7,000 children.
The mobile clinic provides a variety of services such as exams, fillings and cleanings for young people aged 0 to 22.
The full operating budget is under $600,000 a year, which goes toward supplies, car fees and more.
Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Bismarck, Kathy Keiser, says no child is turned away and notes there is a strong need for dental care in the community.
“If a child is in dental pain, they probably are not eating properly and may not be sleeping properly. Because of that they can not do well in school and can not flourish. Our goal is to to turn them into good oral health patients”
We are told all services are free to children without insurance; however, insurance or medicaid is billed when possible.
Each week, the mobile dental truck visits a school where more than 40 percent of the children are on the free or reduced fee school lunch programs.
Kids there can get assistance if they are enrolled in the school and don’t have a personal dentist.