New Program Expands Access to Dental Care for Children and Adults with Disabilities
GLASTONBURY, CT – October 9, 2023 – Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. (DDCT) is helping to expand dental care access by introducing an enhanced special health care needs benefit for children and adults with qualifying special health care conditions. Effective January 1, 2024, group-covered members of any age with a qualifying special health care need will be eligible for this benefit.
“At Delta Dental of Connecticut, we truly value working with organizations that support people with special needs, and we are acutely aware of the unmet dental care needs facing these individuals,” said Keith Libou, Chief Clinical Officer of Delta Dental of Connecticut. “With this benefit, Delta Dental is helping to break down barriers to make oral health care more inclusive and accessible for those with special needs in Connecticut.”
As defined by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, special health care needs include any physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional impairment or limiting condition that requires medical management, health care intervention, and/or use of specialized services or programs.
The enhanced special health care needs benefit will cover:
- Additional dental examinations and/or consultations, which can be beneficial prior to treatment to help patients learn what to expect and what is needed for a successful dental appointment.
- Up to four dental cleanings in a benefit year.
- Treatment delivery modifications (including nitrous oxide and anesthesia) necessary for dental staff to provide oral health care for patients with sensory sensitivities, behavioral challenges, severe anxiety or other barriers to treatment.
“This new program will undoubtedly improve access to care for patients with special health care needs,” said Dr. Monica Cipes, D.M.D., M.S.D. of Cipes Pediatric Dentistry in Hartford, Connecticut. “As a pediatric dentist, I have seen the need for a program like this, firsthand. Many patients with special needs are sent to pediatric dentists because they have the training to treat people with special needs; however, their specialty does not encompass the treatment needs of adult patients such as periodontics or prosthodontics. I applaud Delta Dental of Connecticut for addressing this need, supporting patients, providers, and the next generation of dentists through the UConn Health Special Care Dentistry Program.”
In April, Delta Dental announced it awarded the University of Connecticut’s School of Dental Medicine with a $250,000 grant to expand services for patients with special health care needs. The three-year grant enables UConn to hire faculty, provide training, offset dental expenses and offer more flexible hours to treat patients, representing another important step in increasing access to care for those with special needs.
“People with disabilities in the United States face many inequities accessing healthcare and services, including dental care. Addressing these challenges requires understanding specific dental care needs, adapting the delivery of care to meet those needs, and continuing to modify care as needed. Special Olympics Connecticut’s Special Smiles program works to increase access to dental care for athletes through free dental screenings and hands-on training of dental professionals,” said Caitlin Daikus, MPH, CHES, Director of Health & Wellness, Special Olympics Connecticut. “Partnerships, such as ours with Delta Dental, are vital to our health work and helping to increase access to quality dental care for all individuals.”
This year, the Delta Dental Foundation donated several grants to local organizations that ensure those with a range of physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities receive the dental care they need. Notable CT recipients include Special Olympics Connecticut, Norwalk Hospital, and Dental Lifeline Network.
To learn more about Delta Dental of Connecticut’s special health care needs benefit, visit https://www.deltadentalct.com/our-plans/special-health-care-needs-benefit
About Delta Dental
In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a licensed insurer that writes dental coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs. Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey’s leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.9 million people through contracts with groups and individuals in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Offering dental benefits since 1969, Delta Dental’s mission is to promote oral health to the greatest number of people by providing accessible dental benefit programs of the highest quality, service, and value. We are a not-for-profit service corporation and, as a member of Delta Dental Plans Association, we’re part of a network that provides national dental coverage to more than 85 million people. For more information, visit https://www.DeltaDentalCT.com.
Maria Kucinski, MWW
(978) 852-8969, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Elmore, Delta Dental of Connecticut
(973) 534-9682, email@example.com