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Women being accepted into Prenatal Oral Health Program

The Rowan County Smile Center, part of the Rowan County Health Department, is accepting pregnant women into the new Prenatal Oral Health Program.

Many of the changes that occur during pregnancy can affect oral health. Diseases from bacteria in the mouth that develop during pregnancy can reach the fetus and contribute to health problems.

Four out of 10 pregnant women will experience gum inflammation because of hormones that can make oral health problems worse. Seeing a dentist during pregnancy can help address these problems.

In preparation for implementation of the Prenatal Oral Health Program, the Smile Center went through training that was grant-funded and supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The center’s staff worked with Population Health Improvement Partners to improve the efficiency of the clinic and consulted with specialists from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill medical and dental schools.

By implementing the prenatal program, the center will be able to increase access to care for the clients served.

While clients are in their first trimester, the Smile Center will provide oral health education and schedule appointments. Once they reach the second trimester, the center will provide services and treatment.

Pregnant women are eligible to enroll in the program if:

  • They are pregnant and attend the Health Department prenatal program.
  • They are at least in their second trimester for service or treatment and first trimester for education.
  • They don’t have a dentist.
  • They have pain or concerns about their oral health.

For the first year of the Prenatal Oral Health Program, the Health Department will accept clients who are enrolled in its prenatal program.

The center will accept Medicaid, Medicaid for Pregnant Women, and third-party insurance. For clients who do not have insurance, services will be paid for through grants secured by the Health Department. If grant funding is not available, the client will be placed on a sliding-fee scale based on her income and family size. The center also offers flexible payment plans.

The Smile Center is at the Rowan County Health Department, 1811 E. Innes St. For information or to make an appointment, call 704-216-8796. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

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