For the third year in a row, Northeast Delta Dental Foundation has awarded Aspire Living & Learning a grant for $5,000 to help provide preventive and restorative dental care for people with developmental disabilities.
Most of the people Aspire supports in New Hampshire rely on Medicaid for their healthcare, which only recently began offering limited coverage for dental services. “I work with someone who was going to lose access to her dentist if her overdue bills weren’t paid,” said program manager, Nicole Devoe. The network of dentists who accept Medicaid is currently very limited, so people often still pay privately for care.
The need remains urgent for those who have long deferred dental care.
“This money makes a big difference to the person I support. They need sedation for any dental procedure, so the cost is even higher than usual,” said Mark LaFleur, who contracts with Aspire to share his home with a person with a disability. “Dental pain multiplies the challenges you already face when you have a disability.”
Because of these grants, people supported by Aspire have had improved access to dental procedures such as getting cavities filled and having painful broken teeth repaired. “We are grateful to Northeast Delta Dental for their continuing commitment to those we support. Good oral health is vital to maintaining both physical and mental health,” said Lou Giramma, Aspire’s CEO. “Without their support, individuals would have to continue delaying this essential care.”