3M ESPE and Delta Dental of Minnesota Support the Minnesota School-based Dental Sealant Program

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School-Based Dental Program Targets Elementary School Children

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We appreciate the support from all of our funding partners to deliver preventive dental care to students in our community. This support will have an important impact on improving the oral health of students in our schools

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration is pleased to announce that 3M ESPE and Delta Dental of Minnesota are helping support its new school-based sealant initiative. The program will help improve the oral health of underinsured and uninsured children. The School-based Dental Sealant Program provides children in second grade with preventive dental services – including sealants – right within the school at no cost to the school.

The 3M ESPE Dental Division is helping to make this program possible by donating materials for more than 7,000 dental sealants for at-risk children all over Minnesota.

“Being a good corporate citizen has been part of our values from the very start of 3M as a company over 100 years ago. Today, access to good oral care, especially for the underserved pediatric population, is a cause our Dental Division is particularly close to. We are happy to be able to help MDH in this truly important effort,” said John Stefanick, Director Industry and Professional Relations, 3M ESPE.

Delta Dental of Minnesota is donating $17,500 to seven metro and rural sites to provide preventive services for uninsured children that are eligible for the program. While the original Minnesota Department of Health program targets second-graders in an effort to collect statewide data on sealants, Delta Dental’s funding may be additionally utilized to provide other preventive dental services, including cleanings and fluoride treatments to uninsured children enrolled in other grades as well as Head Start programs.

“We are honored to be supporting the expansion of school-based care, particularly to uninsured children. We understand the impact of being underinsured or uninsured. Community based programs are cost-effective. Children receiving dental sealants in school-based programs have 60 percent less decay for up to five years,” said Ann Johnson, Executive Director, Delta Dental of Minnesota Trust and Director of Community Affairs.

Through this additional funding, sealants and preventive dental services can be offered to more students at participating schools and administered by a local dental hygienist and/or dental assistant. The following organizations and programs are the recipients of support:

  •     Apple Tree Dental (Madelia region)
  •     Children’s Dental Health Services (Rochester/SE MN region)
  •     Children’s Dental Services (Holdingford, Faribault, Minneapolis Green School)
  •     Community Dental Care (St. Paul Charter School)
  •     Just Kids Dental (Northern MN region)
  •     Northern Dental Access Center (Bemidji region)

Children get cavities regularly, but few people realize tooth decay is the single most common childhood chronic disease. As a result, an estimated 1.6 million days of school time are lost every year due to oral diseases. Dental sealants on children’s permanent molar teeth can help prevent many of these cavities.

In use since the 1970s, dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from decay. Dental sealants protect the tooth from germs that cause painful tooth decay, thereby preventing cavities from starting or spreading.

But as of 2010, one third of all Minnesota third graders had no dental sealants on their molar teeth. This estimate is even higher for students of Hispanic ethnicity (43%), and students from lower-income families (58%). To curb this disparity, the MDH supports the full range of evidence-based interventions such as those listed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication, “Guide to Community Preventive Services.” According to their findings, school-based dental sealant programs have been shown to reduce decay by up to 60%. This free resource guide can be viewed at: http://www.thecommunityguide.org/index.html

The number of cavities that Minnesota’s children experience can be reduced with regular preventive care such as sealants, good tooth brushing, and proper diet. Minnesota’s School-based Dental Sealant Program, with the help of 3M ESPE and Delta Dental of Minnesota, will help stop tooth decay in its tracks and keep children in school and ready to learn.

“We appreciate the support from all of our funding partners to deliver preventive dental care to students in our community. This support will have an important impact on improving the oral health of students in our schools,” said, Sarah Wovcha, Executive Director, Children’s Dental Services.

Ann Copeland, Program Director, Community Dental Care, added, “We are extremely pleased to help expand the program into some of St. Paul Charter Schools. Public private partnerships can collectively make a greater impact than if we try to provide services on our own.”

About Minnesota Department of Health’s Coordinated School-based Dental Sealant Program – The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) School-based Dental Sealant Program (SDSP) is part of a comprehensive state-wide Oral Health Program to promote evidenced-based prevention strategies in order to achieve optimal oral health for all Minnesotans. Funding for Minnesota’s Oral Health Program is provided by grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). For more information, visit http://www.health.state.mn.us/oralhealth/sealant.html.

About 3M and 3M ESPE Dental– 3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. 3M employs about 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. As part of 3M’s Health Care Business, 3M ESPE manufactures and markets more than 2,000 products and services designed to help dental professionals improve their patients' oral health care. For more information visit the 3M ESPE Web site at http://www.3MESPE.com or call the 3M ESPE Customer Care Center at 1-800-634-2249. 3M, ESPE and Lava are trademarks of 3M or 3M ESPE AG.

About Delta Dental of Minnesota – An independent, non-profit health services company, we take seriously our mission to serve Minnesotans’ oral health needs. Since 1969, we’ve accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans. We also know the importance of doing right by the communities we serve. We’ve partnered with community organizations and social service agencies to address the dental needs of Minnesota’s underserved and uninsured populations. In 2010, we contributed more than $850,000 in grants and donations to support a range of programs addressing oral health and community needs. Delta Dental of Minnesota is based in Eagan, Minnesota. Delta Dental is a registered mark of Delta Dental Plans Association. Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent nonprofit dental services company and is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois.


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