The LTC met on Monday, February 12, 2012 and received a special update from Dr. Mireya Ortega, DDS, on the Young Tahoe Smiles Program.

This is a summary of that update.

Attached here is the  Young Tahoe Smiles summary.

The goal is to get these children pain and infection free. The parents have contributed $690 towards $60K of dental work.  There is  a simple screening process and work mostly by referral.  The primary teeth are so important. It is important to make sure that even infants are getting their gums scrubbed and then their first teeth brushed. We’ve had kids come in with totally decayed mouths. We had a 14 year old come in and need $6,500 worth of work.  We are really interested in educating the parents about dental health and having them help keep their child’s teeth healthy after all the dental work is done. We want to see the child and parents take responsibility for their own health and to change their behaviors.

The program is for children ages 6-14 with no insurance or Medi-Cal.  It’s okay for an advocate from a local agency to come with the child/family to the screening/appointment. Or you can just give them Dr. Ortega’s contact information. They can fax or email the forms as well if they are not local. We work mostly with South Lake Tahoe families, but have some come from Incline, Truckee or Carson City. Most families hear about us via word-of-mouth.

The first appointment is diagnostic with hygiene and we’ll decide how many more visits are necessary to complete the work. Most families keep their appointments, but if they “no-show”, they are not able to receive more services.

It was noted that Dentist April Westfall is now back full-time and takes Medi-Cal patients.