San Diego/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on May 07, 2024
Delta Dental Bites into San Diego's Senior Healthcare with $5M for Oral HealthSource: Google Street View

Delta Dental, a giant in the dental insurance hustle, is flashing some serious cash towards San Diego County's grin. The company's philanthropic wing, Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, donated $5 million to help local seniors get their chompers checked and fixed. This hefty donation is the latest move in a national campaign that's thrown more than $15 mil into the ring to support toothy services for seniors without dental insurance - a crowd that the company usually covers to the tune of over 80 million Americans.

According to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the funds will be used to beef up oral health care services for seniors, particularly those getting long in the tooth and often hit with tooth decay and other mouth maladies. A Delta Dental survey got down to the gum line and found that 80% of seniors aren't visiting dentists as they should, mostly because getting into that reclining chair can cost an arm and a leg - with one in three admitting they can’t afford regular check-ups.

The money is funneled through Health Quality Partners of Southern California, which speaks for a network of community clinics. Nicole Howard, an exec at the nonprofit, said the master plan is to snug dental services into the regular healthcare seniors get. “When individuals go into primary care, we want them to have a warm handoff for oral health care,” Howard stated via the San Diego Union-Tribune, nodding at the fact that many seniors don't even know they're covered for dental under Medi-Cal or that the health centers offer flexible pricing for the uninsured.

Over at Delta Dental's announcement, they made it clear that this was their third partnership in the Senior Oral Health Program. The alliance is led by Health Quality Partners of Southern California, with seven community health organizations in the mix. 

The bigwigs of the dental and healthcare sectors gathered for a ceremony on May 6, during which Delta Dental handed over the hefty check. This isn't just about plaque and dentures—it's about setting up a model so seniors can age with dignity and still be part of the community.