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ST. LOUIS, MO (September 16, 2017) - To help St. Louis-area children get vital dental care, Delta Dental of Missouri has donated $132,617 to the Gateway to Oral Health Foundation (GTOHF) mobile dental program. The onsite outreach program provides comprehensive dental treatment for children in need, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Using two mobile dental vans and portable equipment, the GTOHF dentistry teams treat kids at schools in 12 districts in St. Louis, as well as at daycare centers and pre-schools.

Delta Dental of Missouri’s chief sales and marketing officer, Ed Pattarozzi, who serves on the company’s charitable giving committee, presented the grant check to GTOHF executives during the GTOHF open house event on September 16, held at its recently completed offices at 2211 Olive Street in St. Louis. 

“With Delta Dental of Missouri’s generous gift, we’re thrilled to be able to install a wheelchair lift in one of our two dental vans, so we can expand our care to children of all ability levels,” said Byron DuVall, DDS, president and CEO of the non-profit GTOHF, which he co-founded in 1996. “The funds will also allow us to upgrade our x-ray sensors and dental software to facilitate treatment for the kids, as well as improve measurement of outcomes achieved for our patients.” 

Dr. DuVall said he expects to see a 15 percent increase in the number of patients treated each year, following the van modification and digital upgrades. In 2016, the GTOHF treated 10,301 children at daycare centers and at 162 area schools. 

The GTOHF mobile dental teams provide preventive and restorative treatment that includes: exams, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride applications, sealants, fillings, extractions, root canals and stainless steel crowns. If a child has dental pain or a tooth injury, the team will provide an emergency appointment within 24 hours. 

“Thousands of children in the metro don’t have access to proper dental care, and many live with constant tooth pain,” said Ollie Fisher, DDS, director of quality control at the GTOHF. “Delta Dental’s grant gives us the resources to provide this critical care to many more at-risk kids to improve the quality of their lives, their self-esteem and their ability to concentrate, so they can thrive in school,” said Dr. Fisher.   

Delta Dental of Missouri’s grant is the largest donation received by the GTOHF in the past 10 years. “We share mutual goals with the Foundation—to improve oral health and to bring dental care to those who need it the most,” said Pattarozzi. “We’re so glad to know that our contribution will help expand the reach of the Foundation to touch even more lives in the communities we’re both privileged to serve.” 

In addition to providing dental care for area children during the school year, the GTOHF teams will be able to give treatment to senior individuals at nursing homes during the summer months, following the installation of the dental van wheelchair lift. 

To learn more about the Gateway to Oral Health Foundation, visit

About Delta Dental of Missouri

Delta Dental of Missouri is the state’s dental benefits leader and a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, serving more than 1.8 million members and committed to its social mission to improve oral health. The organization provides financial support for oral health initiatives, educational programs, community outreach events and charitable causes each year, contributing more than $1.6 million in 2016.