Delta Dental Grants Provide Dental Care to Thousands



PARSIPPANY, N.J. — February 27, 2012 — Community organizations and programs in New Jersey and Connecticut providing oral health care and/or education for at-risk individuals have been awarded $1 million in grants for 2012 from the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation, the charitable arm of Delta Dental of New Jersey.

Thousands of at-risk people ― specifically children whose families are at or below the federal poverty level, the developmentally disabled, and vulnerable seniors ― will have access to desperately needed dental exams, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, extractions, sealants, dentures, oral cancer screenings and other dental care not otherwise available to them. These procedures catch problems earlier, reduce costs and complications later, maintain wellness, boost confidence, keep children in school, and allow adults to keep caring for themselves and their families.
"The overarching goal of Delta Dental’s grant program is to reduce the number of urgent and complex dental procedures ― and challenges to overall health ― resulting from the uninsured and underserved’s lack of access to dental care and education," said Gene F. Napoliello, D.D.S., president of the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation. "Especially in the current economy, charitable donations like these are critical to establishing and maintaining good oral health for those in need."

At-risk populations face the greatest barriers to dental care access, making them statistically in most need of preventive and urgent care and financial assistance for it. The organizations that the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation is funding this year include health departments, medical centers, colleges, universities, dental associations, hospitals, mobile dental units, school-based dental clinics, community pediatric centers and other groups. All monies will be applied to buying new equipment, establishing new dental services and expanding existing aid, increasing mobile service access, creating and expanding dental education programs, extending hours and staff, and much more. (See Addendum I for a full list of this year’s recipients and intended use of grants.)

Targeted At-risk Populations for 2012

The Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation grants stipulate that organizations serving each of the three categories below focus on providing long-term oral health solutions, accomplishing measurable results and becoming self-sustaining. Specific services provided this year ― and why they are important to Delta Dental’s charitable goal of promoting good dental care ― are as follows:

Children face dental decay as the most chronic form of disease in their age group (0-17). Teaching and treating children at an early age, when lifetime oral health habits are forming, create very positive long-term effects. Grant recipients will provide dental services such as:

・ Educational programs
In-class toothbrush stations
School-based dental sealant programs
Dental screenings tied to follow-up care
Fluoride rinse programs
Mobile dental clinics
・ Removing barriers of transportation, chaperones and lack of equipment

Seniors are prone to severe periodontal disease, a condition linked to other serious chronic health disorders, including diabetes and oral cancer. Cost and transportation are among the challenges confronting this at-risk group. Programs that help seniors include:

Oral cancer screenings
Dental screenings tied to follow-up care
Mobile dental clinics visiting nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers
Preventive and restorative care
Dentures for edentulous seniors

Developmentally disabled individuals require special care, patience and understanding. They are medically fragile, are often frightened and frequently require multiple visits because they cannot tolerate even the simplest procedures in one sitting. Examples of the empathic care this underserved segment may now access include:

Dental care tied to existing social service programs
Preventive and restorative care
Behavioral management assistance
Help with swallowing dysfunctions
Mobile dental clinics

Millions of Dollars Donated

The Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation’s annual grant program is part of a deep and widespread commitment to the underserved by Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA). DDPA encompasses 39 member companies, including Delta Dental of New Jersey. In 2010, DDPA collectively donated more than $45 million throughout the country to support dental-focused programs for the underserved. To date, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation has awarded more than $12.6 million to aid New Jersey’s and Connecticut’s uninsured and underinsured with access to care as well as oral health education.

About Delta Dental
Delta Dental of New Jersey Inc. is New Jersey’s leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.5 million people through contracts with employers in New Jersey and Connecticut. The Delta Dental system offers seamless dental benefits administration for employer groups throughout the country and has the largest network of dentists in the nation. For more information, visit

About the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation

Delta Dental established the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation, its 501(c)3 charitable arm, in 1986. Its mission includes promoting and assisting educational projects devoted to the enhancement of dental health, providing research programs designed to increase public awareness of the general benefits of good health, and improving dental health through the science of dentistry. Each year, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation provides financial support to various organizations throughout the state.