Iowa gets Grant to Help Boost Child Dental Care

Dentist Jeffrey Akey works on patient Brenda Rawson at His Hands Free Medical Clinic in Cedar Rapids. The clinic began offering free dental services in February and has a grand opening set for today.

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa public health officials have received a $1.8 million federal grant to help ensure children and some adults get adequate dental care.

The money from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be used to expand a school-based dental program called I-Smile Dental Home Initiative and to monitor and evaluate the state's dental public health program.

I-Smile helps Iowa's children connect with dentists who provide treatment and evaluation. Other health professionals including dental hygienists, physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, and dietitians are a part of a larger network providing oral screenings, education, guidance, and preventive services as needed.

Since I-Smile began, 62 percent more low-income Iowa children have received dental services.

Iowa is one of 18 states to receive CDC funding.

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