Altarum’s SmileConnect program is a scalable model that combines provider education, referral technology, and community integration to improve access to dental care. Here's how it works:
1) An accredited provider education program that helps primary care clinicians integrate preventive oral health exams and other basic dental care services, such as application of fluoride varnishes, into well-child visits.
2) Referral technology that makes it easy for primary care doctors and other community providers to refer children to nearby dentists who accept Medicaid and CHIP, and to track the care of their young patients.
3) A community integration training program for community health workers to integrate oral health education and referrals into programs for children, such as WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
All three elements of the SmileConnect program have been implemented in communities across Michigan, resulting in nearly one million children covered by Medicaid or CHIP receiving earlier access to preventive oral health services, resources, and dental referrals.