PIERRE | A mobile dental program operated by Delta Dental has reached a milestone by providing $10 million worth of dental care to children around South Dakota in the past nine years.

Delta Dental of South Dakota says its Dakota Smiles mobile dental program has given care to more than 22,000 young patients in 74 communities in the state.

Dakota Smiles program manager Carrie Mikkonen says the program uses two trucks with fully equipped facilities to provide dental services to patients up to 21 years old. She says patients are not billed, but some are covered by private insurance or Medicaid.

Mikkonen says the program helps people who have no access to dental care. She says tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, affecting 60 percent of children.

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