SEAL INDIANA is a statewide dental program that provides preventive oral health services for children who do not have adequate access to dental care. The Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis provided start-up funding for the program, which began in March 2003.
Services provided by SEAL INDIANA include dental sealants, examinations, toothbrush prophies, oral hygiene instructions and fluoride varnish. Treatment is based on the individual needs of each child. SEAL INDIANA does not provide any restorative services. This is consistent with the philosophy that invasive dental treatment should be done in a stationary dental office, with the child’s parents present. It points to the fact that children’s oral health needs are best served when there is continuity of care in a local dental office or clinic.
SEAL INDIANA is a self-sustaining, not-for-profit program. Therefore, fees for services are charged to Medicaid or Hoosier Healthwise. Families with low-income and no dental coverage are eligible for a sliding fee schedule based on their stated income. However, no child is denied dental care because of a lack in their ability to pay.
The Indiana Dental Association Board of Trustees has endorsed SEAL INDIANA, and the program works with local dental professionals to help plan and implement programs appropriate for their local schools and community health centers.
SEAL INDIANA helps parents find local dental providers and provides information on how to enroll their children in Hoosier Healthwise. These activities help assure that each child has a dental home that can offer competent, continuous dental care.
Since SEAL INDIANA is a statewide program, dental education programs throughout Indiana are invited to participate. Dental students and dental hygiene students from the Indiana University School of Dentistry in Indianapolis are regularly assigned to rotations with the program.