We will soon have another Smile Mobile to replace the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which was destroyed by a fire as it traveled home to Pierre on June 19 after serving kids in Lower Brule.
“We’re excited to be back at full strength with two mobile units to serve kids,” said Scott Jones, CEO. “And it’s coming just in time because our schedule gets busy with the start of school.”
The loss of one of the mobile dental trucks caused some scheduled clinics to be postponed or cancelled. The other existing Smile Mobile unit continued to serve as many communities as possible through the summer.
“It takes up to a year to commission a new specialty dental truck, and we couldn’t wait that long,” Jones said. “We bought the used truck and refurbished it so we could serve kids as soon as possible, and we’ll now start the process of getting a brand new one.”
Delivery of the truck to its home station in Pierre is expected early in the week after the Labor Day holiday. It will spend the week getting stocked with supplies and readied for its first service in Wagner the week of September 14-18.
A few facts about the refurbished Smile Mobile:
- The mobile dental truck is a newly refurbished 2000 model vehicle.
- The mobile dental truck is 35 feet long.
- There are 2 operatory chairs inside.
- Both mobile dental trucks will now remain on the road visiting various towns across the state for 8 consecutive weeks before a break in early November around the Veterans Day holiday.
- The trucks have provided dental care to 28,416 kids in 77 communities across South Dakota.
Delta Dental’s mobile dental program was established 11 years ago when the first truck began serving kids in September, 2004. A second truck was added in 2008. The program provides preventive and restorative dental care to kids who would not otherwise receive care.
UPDATE 9.14.15 – HERE IT IS!