NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (May 30, 2018) – Governor Bill Haslam, in conjunction with the Tennessee Charitable Care Network, has proclaimed June 11-15, 2018, Tennessee Oral Health Smile Power Week. To celebrate, Delta Dental of Tennessee will show off the power of smiles across our state by teaching how important a smile can be to a person’s health, well-being and self-esteem.
Smile Power Week was created to promote healthy smiles across Tennessee during National Smile Month. According to research released last month by Commonwealth Fund, 13 percent of Tennessee adults ages 18-64 have lost six or more teeth due to decay, infection or gum disease, ranking the state 39th in the national study. “This data represents a five point decrease in the number of Tennesseans who have lost six or more teeth since 2012, an improvement of 28 percent,” said Philip Wenk, President and CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee. “While this is good news, we know that there’s still a lot of work to be done. For example, the number of adults who went without a dental visit in the past year increased to 18 percent, ranking Tennessee 43rd nationally in that category.”
Smile Power Week educates Tennesseans about the importance of oral health, and it’s an opportunity to showcase the important work being done in communities across the state by free and charitable clinics.
“Because there remains an overall need for dental services for people of all ages, we are grateful to Delta Dental of Tennessee for their generous support of our state’s free and charitable clinics,” said Mary Kiger, Executive Director, Tennessee Charitable Care Network. “These clinics are dramatically improving the lives of patients by relieving their pain and often restoring function to the mouth.”
During Smile Power Week, celebrations will take place in dental clinics from Memphis to Bristol, and Marshall Molar, Delta Dental of Tennessee’s mascot, will be visiting patients at children’s hospitals in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Knoxville and Johnson City, as well as a special reading event with Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam on June 13 at the Main Library in Nashville.
“We are excited to launch Smile Power Week in Tennessee on June 11,” added Wenk. “Last year, Tennessee’s charitable dental clinics provided more than 25,626 procedures to Tennesseans who would have otherwise not received care. We know that the power of smiling changes lives, and we are proud to partner with dental clinics to help their communities smile.”
Delta Dental of Tennessee Good oral health is essential to a healthy life and Delta Dental of Tennessee makes taking care of your smile easy with access to care, comprehensive benefits, exceptional service, and superior value. To best serve our mission and create more smiles, we established the Smile180 Foundation to support Tennessee’s dental colleges, children’s hospitals, free and reduced-cost community dental clinics, and other like-minded charities. Delta Dental is the largest independent dental benefits provider in the state, with more than 2,000 employer groups representing more than 1.25 million Tennesseans. To unleash your smile power, choose Delta Dental. Visit www.DeltaDentalTN.com.
The Tennessee Charitable Care Network (TCCN) has a mission to provide support, education, and representation for non-profit organizations that provide charitable health care services to low-income, uninsured, and underserved Tennesseans. Established in 2014, TCCN ensures that Tennessee’s charitable clinics are equipped to effectively respond to the health care needs of vulnerable populations now and into the future. Faced with common challenges, such as the changing healthcare landscape, limited financial resources, reliance on volunteers versus full-time staff, and a lack of training resources, key leaders within the state’s charitable clinics identified the need for a statewide membership association. TCCN was initiated by these leaders to provide a collective voice for charitable clinics, along with the resources and expertise needed to tackle shared challenges in an effective and efficient way. The leadership and collaboration provided by TCCN ensure that charitable clinics can successfully meet patient needs while navigating the changing environment, improving systems and quality, and developing services tailored to the unique needs and assets of each community.