Downtown Duluth Dental Office To Focus On Children From Low-Income Families
DULUTH, Minn. — A new multi-faceted dental office is coming to downtown Duluth, and it’s focused on providing oral health to low-income families, especially children.
The building is located at 25 West Superior Street.
Children’s Dental Services is the non-profit behind the project, along with the financial help from 20 organizations and foundations — local and within the state.
Organizers said the need for affordable dental care in the Northland is “severe.”
Fifteen-percent of children in Northeast Minnesota counties live in poverty, which is higher than the statewide average, according to the Department of Health. And the CDC says those children from low-income families are twice as likely to have cavities compared to children from higher income families.
The new Duluth dental hub projects to provide care to around 20,000 patients a year.
“This new dental hub will offer families and children a greater opportunity for prevention and the means to address social drivers of health, and that is why we are here today, with over 20 organizations uniting in partnership, it is clear that this community is a community driven partnership,” said Stephanie Albert, president of Delta Dental of Minnesota.
Experts say children with tooth decay or oral disease experience significant pain, which can affect their self-esteem, sleep and performance at school.
“When we think about the services that we need as we wrap around our children, so that they can be successful, we don’t want students sitting in class embarrassed about their teeth or feeling pain, we want them there and ready to learn with smiles on their faces,” said John Magas, Duluth Schools superintendent.
Delta Dental, Ordean Foundation, Head of the Lake United Way, Medica Foundation, Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation and Northland Foundation are among the financial supporters to get the project started. State funds, grants and fundraising efforts will support the operations, according to organizers.
Children’s Dental Services Duluth Clinic is set to open the first quarter of 2024.