SEAL INDIANA is a statewide mobile 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. SEAL INDIANA resources include a 40’ mobile dental unit, two stationary
and four portable dental chairs and units, and a passenger van to carry staff
Services provided by SEAL INDIANA include dental sealants, examinations, x-rays
and fluoride varnish. Treatment is based on the individual needs of each child.
SEAL INDIANA provides no restorative services. This is consistent with the
philosophy that more invasive dental treatment should be done in a stationary
dental office and 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 not-for-profit program that must become self-sustaining.
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 care because
of lack of 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.
It is a disservice to children to identify their unmet oral health needs and not
assure follow-up care. For this reason, 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. Dental hygiene students from schools in
Gary, South Bend, Fort Wayne and Evansville are invited to participate when SEAL
INDIANA is serving a nearby community.