COVID-19 Update: The SmileMobile is open and to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the SmileMobile program is implementing new infection control recommendations and protocols based on the Centers for Disease Control, American Dental Association, and OSHA. For more information, please see our complete update.
SmileMobile Program Mission
To increase access to dental care for babies (first tooth), children, youth, pregnant, postpartum people and adult family members in underserved communities throughout Washington state by using a mobile van staffed by volunteer dental professionals to provide care and by building lasting relationships with referral resources in each community.
The SmileMobile is a three-chair modern dental office on wheels that brings oral health services to babies, children, youth, pregnant/postpartum people and adults (designated clinics) who have limited options for dental care; the SmileMobile has traveled across the state since July 1995 and provided services to over 44,000 patients.
- We treat about 50 patients each week.
- Staffing includes a full-time dentist and local volunteer dental professionals.
- Services may include examinations and preventive services, fillings and simple oral surgery.
- Individuals who need a lot of dental work or have dental anxiety will be referred locally to a dental clinic or through DentistLink, a free, nonprofit referral service funded by Arcora Foundation.
- We accept Medicaid (Apple Health), commercial insurance or individuals and families who don’t have dental insurance.
Crisis in Oral Health Care
- Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of early childhood, 5 times more than asthma.
- One in six 3rd graders suffers from rampant decay (decay in 7 or more teeth).
- Cavities cause pain, loss of sleep and missed school days.
The SmileMobile program is a partnership between Arcora Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital and supported by the Foundation’s funder, Delta Dental of Washington.
- Arcora Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to improving oral health and health equity by partnering with communities to prevent oral disease, transform health systems, and increase access to care. For more information, visit ArcoraFoundation.org.
- Seattle Children’s specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, we provide inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, emergency and outreach services – regardless of a family’s ability to pay. For more information, visit SeattleChildrens.org.
- Delta Dental of Washington is the state’s leading dental benefits provider, covering nearly 3 million people in Washington state and nationally. Along with Arcora Foundation, Delta Dental plays a vital role to ensure all people enjoy good oral health and overall health, with no one left behind. For more information, visit DeltaDentalWA.com.
So far, in 2021, the SmileMobile partnered with over 30+ school districts and community organizations (health department, churches, community centers etc.), 5 Head Starts and the Colville and Hoh tribes. The community partners promote the SmileMobile to families while in their community and assists in the recruitment of children. The community partners play a valuable role in the success of the SmileMobile.