Fones School of Dental Hygiene Receives an Additional $52,500 Grant from Delta Dental

dental care for senior citizens in connecticut

Fones School of Dental Hygiene Receives an Additional $52,500 Grant from Delta Dental

Funds will continue UB’s ground-breaking dental care program for low-income senior citizens in Southeastern Connecticut

The University of Bridgeport (UB) Fones School of Dental Hygiene, has been awarded $52,500 from Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation. The grant, which will fund the second year of UB’s Senior Smiles project, enables the school to continue providing services for low-income seniors in the Bridgeport area at its dental hygiene clinic.

Prior to the pandemic, Delta Dental, the nation’s largest dental plan administrator, gave UB’s Fones dental hygiene clinic $50,000 to equip and launch the first-ever program where low-income patients aged 65 and older receive free basic dental care beyond cleaning, such as fillings, extractions, and dentures. This year’s grant will be used to continue that care and pay for lab costs associated with dentures and partials for more seniors in the Greater Bridgeport community.

“A mouth full of healthy teeth is critical for holistic health, but barriers to good oral health still exist, particularly among underserved communities. The continuation of this grant enables us to continue to provide needed dental care to senior citizens in the Bridgeport community,” said Michael Ciolfi, DC, MBA, DBA, Dean of UB’s College of Health Sciences.

“This additional infusion of capital for Senior Smiles will not only ensure we can continue to provide our students with practical learning experience, it will also allow us to continue to serve our community,” said Marion Manski, MS, RDH, director of the Fones School. “The grant makes it possible for us to provide a full range of dental services that can treat age-related conditions, like receding gums and root decay, which are often seen in senior citizens.”

“Last year through this grant we were able to provide more than $56,000 in dental care free of charge to senior patients,” said Jennifer Boyce, DMD, associate director of the Fones School and the administrator and dental care provider for the grant. “Seniors are a forgotten population when it comes to dental care, and we could have never imagined the level of need in our community. It was extremely gratifying to serve these patients, and we are eager to serve more local seniors this year.”

Licensed dentists, dental hygienists, and dental hygiene students, who have extensive education, training, and demonstrated competence, provide clinical services for the program.

Treatment is by appointment only. Click here to make an appointment and learn more about the Fones Dental Hygiene Clinic.