Children's Hospital Opens One-of-a-Kind Dental Clinic to Serve Region's Kids

Seattle, WA – A newly renovated, state-of-the-art Dental Clinic at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center is ready to meet the growing oral health needs of its young patients.

Seattle, WA – A newly renovated, state-of-the-art Dental Clinic at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center is ready to meet the growing oral health needs of its young patients. The clinic is the first of its kind in the state and serves children with a wide range of medical and behavioral problems who cannot be treated elsewhere. Children’s nationally recognized craniofacial program treats children with facial malformations due to trauma or birth defects and is a leader in the area of emergency dental treatment and cleft and craniofacial anomalies.

A $400,000 grant from the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board will equip the newly expanded clinic. The Washington State Dental Association, the Seattle-King County Dental Foundation and the Snohomish County Dental Foundation also supported the renovation. “This substantial grant reflects a tremendous vote of confidence in our mission and will help us improve and expand important programs for special needs of children,” said Dr. Bryan Williams, director of the Department of Dental Medicine at Children’s.

The clinic opening coincides with the launch of a new children’s oral health campaign in Washington State. The first state to answer the U.S. Surgeon General’s call to make children’s oral health a top priority, a coalition of business, health, labor and children’s groups launched the WATCH YOUR MOUTH campaign this month. WATCH YOUR MOUTH draws attention to children’s unmet dental needs in our state and stresses the importance of oral health as part of children’s overall health and well-being.

“In the last ten years there has been no decline in tooth decay for children between the ages of six and eight. In fact, dental disease is the most common chronic childhood disease making it even more prevalent than asthma - this is a surprise to those who take care of children. But the good news is oral disease is entirely preventable,” says Dr. Richard Molteni, medical director of Children’s.

One in seven Washington children are reported to have unmet dental needs – a rate 50 percent higher than the national average. Only one in five children ages one to three ever sees a dentist, and 40 per percent of Washington employees lack dental coverage.

“A healthy mouth is just as important as a healthy heart,” said Dr. Richard Brandon of the U.W. Washington Kids Count project, a lead agency in the WATCH YOUR MOUTH campaign. “Oral disease keeps kids out of school and later, out of work. Getting our kids mouths healthy and keeping them healthy is not just a priority for parents and their children, but a priority for our elected officials, policymakers and the public. We cannot afford to ignore the serious impact of dental disease any longer.”

The public awareness and education effort includes ads, public service announcements and an informational website, The WATCH YOUR MOUTH policy agenda includes remedies such as fluoridation, sealants, eligibility of children for dental care, expanded workplace dental plans, increased referrals and screenings through school. For more information about the WATCH YOUR MOUTH campaign, please call 206-616-1833.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital 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, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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