DHCS Kicks Off Mobile Dental Van Tour

California Department of Health Care Services


The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) today kicked off its second mobile dental van tour in Fresno. Through the Smile California campaign, DHCS delivers preventive dental services to children and youth, enhancing utilization of essential dental care and improving oral health, particularly for underserved groups.


Adrianna Alcala-Beshara, Chief of DHCS’ Medi-Cal Dental Division (Photo: Business Wire)

“Medi-Cal Dental is committed to ensuring that millions of Californians have access to the dental care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy and strong,” said Adrianna Alcala-Beshara, Chief of DHCS’ Medi-Cal Dental Division. “We encourage Medi-Cal members to use their dental benefits to maintain oral health and overall well-being.”

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: The Smile, California tour is partnering with the California Department of Public Health, local Medi-Cal dental providers, and community organizations to promote preventive dental services to children and youth living in areas throughout California with limited access to dental care.

According to a statewide assessment of tooth decay, by the third grade, six in ten children in California have experienced tooth decay, and one in five children have untreated tooth decay. But there is encouraging news: tooth decay is largely preventable. Prevention begins with good oral care habits that must include regular visits to the dentist.

With regular dental visits, problems can be detected early and are usually easier to fix. Preventive treatments, such as sealants, are quick and painless and can protect children’s teeth from cavities by up to 80 percent.

MEDI-CAL DENTAL SERVICES: With Medi-Cal, preventive dental services are covered at no cost. All members under age 21 are eligible for a dental check-up twice a year, sometimes even more, and all Medi-Cal members 21 and older are eligible to receive a check-up once a year. Other services may include cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, fillings, and crowns.

ABOUT THE TOUR: In addition to Fresno, the mobile dental van will make stops in Pixley (April 5), Hollister (April 11), Avenal (April 12), and Huntington Park (May 4). Services performed onsite will include exams, x-rays, cleaning, and fluoride applications. Please visit the Smile, California website for event details.

“Promotional efforts like this mobile van tour play a vital role in educating Medi-Cal members, parents, caregivers, and children about the importance of protecting the oral health of children and youth. Prevention goes beyond maintaining healthy dental care habits at home; it’s imperative for children and youth to have dental check-ups once every six months,” said Paula Lee, Policy Lead and School Dental Program Coordinator for the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Oral Health, which partners with DHCS to educate Medi-Cal members about the importance of oral health.

Apply for Medi-Cal coverage today to receive preventive dental:

LEARN MORE: Medi-Cal members, medical providers, dental providers, and community-based organizations can learn more about Medi-Cal dental services by visiting the Smile, California website, in English at SmileCalifornia.org or in Spanish at SonrieCalifornia.org. The website includes helpful resources, such as informational flyers, videos, fact sheets, and the “Find-A-Dentist” tool to help families identify a local dental provider and schedule a check-up.

To find a dentist or learn more about Smile, California, visit SmileCalifornia.org or call the Member Telephone Service Center at 800-322-6384 (TTY: 1-800-735-2922), Monday – Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM.