Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department provides dental services

(Editor’s Note: The following article was written by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.)


PARKERSBURG — Smiles for Life is an oral health screening, referral and preventive program offered by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department for adults and children that meet income guidelines and do not have dental insurance.

To be eligible for the program, a person must have an income less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level, provide proof of income, and be able to pay a minimal fee in advance for services provided. Participants may be from West Virginia or Ohio. Currently WV Medicaid is accepted and an application for Ohio Medicaid is in process.

For adults, once the application is approved, the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department dental hygienist will complete a health history, screen for oral cancer, provide oral health education and supplies and complete a panoramic x-ray. The x-rays and other pertinent information is transferred to the treating dentist. The area dentist participating in the program volunteer their services in their offices.

Once the screening is complete and before services can be provided, all fees for service must be paid in advance and are non-refundable. Clients are eligible to return through the program for additional services.

Not all services are provided through the Smiles for Life program. Basic dental services provided are cleanings, fillings and tooth removal. Dentures, partials, flippers, implants, root canals, crowns, caps and braces are not available through the program.

Children can be seen for screenings, cleanings, and fluoride. Dental sealants may be placed if appropriate. The oral health staff will work to aid parents in establishing a dental home as well.

Smiles for Life has been serving clients in our area since 2011 and has screened over 2,000 clients since the program began. The estimated donated services provided by the volunteer dentist with this program is $1,142,421. Over 2,500 volunteer hours have been completed from 2011 to 2018 by the generosity of local dental offices.

The Smiles for Life program has been and continues to be supported by Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Sisters Health Foundation, Our Community’s Foundation, The Bernard McDonough Foundation, United Way, and Blennerhassett Dental Society. The program is dependent on grant funding and has been supported in the past by many other local and national organizations.

If you would like to learn more about the program or get an application, you can stop by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department at 211 6th Street, call 304-485-7374 ext. 106 or visit our website at movhd.com and click on the Smiles for Life tab.