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Delta Dental of Illinois Announces Major Gift to University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry

LISLE, Ill., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Dental of Illinois has made a $250,000, five-year grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry to modernize the existing pre-doctoral dentistry clinic. When the renovations are complete, the clinic will be named the Delta Dental of Illinois Pre-doctoral Pediatric Dentistry Clinic.



The contribution will help the UIC Department of Pediatric Dentistry create a state-of-the-art pre-doctoral pediatric dentistry clinic. "This gift will provide faculty, students and patients with a completely modern facility in which to deliver high quality dental care and oral health education," said Dr. Robert Dennison, CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois.

The 2,500 square-foot, 14-chair clinic will feature innovative equipment such as digital radiographs; new sedation areas and operatories with new dental chairs, cabinetry and piped-in nitrous oxide; advanced radiological equipment; and educational tools. "The improvements can also serve as distraction devices for children, such as televisions in every dental unit," said Dr. Indru Punwani, Head of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Construction is expected to be completed during the summer of 2008.

The clinic's new design will comply with the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements and includes facilities for special needs residents. Rooms will be provided to parents or caregivers to accompany their children to treatment when appropriate.

The clinic currently serves 40,000 patients a year and is the largest provider of dental services to children on Medicaid in Illinois. Tooth decay is found in nearly five times as many children who live in lower-income families compared to children from higher-income families. Unfortunately, the dental problems are often left untreated and in Illinois, only 27.6 percent of Medicaid eligible children received any kind of dental services in 2003.

The concern for dental care is of great importance to Delta Dental of Illinois. For 40 years, the company has been helping to improve access to oral health care and education for the people and children of Illinois. Dr. Dennison noted that, "An essential part of Delta Dental of Illinois' mission is the improvement of the oral health of the communities it serves."

Delta Dental of Illinois has been able to reach out to its communities with the help of community-based clinics, elementary schools, health care professionals, and dental schools. Dr. Dennison said the grant "will help establish good oral health that could last a lifetime for the children treated at the clinic and make oral health more accessible for underserved individuals."

Delta Dental of Illinois (DDIL) is a not-for-profit dental service corporation specializing in providing comprehensive, easy-to-use and cost-effective benefits to over one million employees and family members in more than 3,200 employee groups throughout Illinois. Based in Lisle, Ill., DDIL offers an array of extensive nationwide network-based managed fee-for-service, PPO and dental HMO plans.

Contact: Tim Woods

Delta Dental of Illinois


SOURCE Delta Dental of Illinois
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