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Project Open WIDE - Dental Care initiative


dental hygienist examining a young woman with a disability who is holding a light-up toyIn 2006, the Council conducted a year-long study of issues surrounding dental care for individuals with developmental disabilities. A Council grant was awarded to Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga for Project Open Wide. The project provided internship opportunities and training for dental hygienists and dental students in the dental clinic at Orange Grove Center.

Read more about Orange Grove Center’s dental clinic.

Project outcomes:

  • Performed dental research of national trends, best practice and dental projects during '06 and '07.
  • Dental clinic was established with a dentist who has an internship in developmental dentistry.
  • Dental clinic became TennCare provider in 2010.
  • Replication site in northern Georgia established in 2012.
  • 3,438 people with developmental disabilities had their dental needs met by the clinic, with 46% being from the community and 56% being served by Orange Grove.
  • 1,300 professionals were trained in best practices for serving the dental care needs of people with developmental disabilities.
  • 1,450 individuals with developmental disabilities, their family members and support staff received oral home care education.