Mask Shortage Threatens Dental Care for Low-Income Children

391% price increase in medical-grade masks due to the pandemic forces dental clinics to seek more funding to guarantee safety and health of patients and staff.

This project has raised


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Project Completed

Pledge Incentives

$15.00 Level

5 Supporters

Your gift of $15 will make an impact! Your donation will purchase one box of masks to protect our employees, so they can provide dental care to 25 children!

$30.00 Level

3 Supporters

Your thoughtful donation of $30 will help 50 children receive dental care through an appointment at one of our locations! Please consider sharing our project on your social media channels to help add to our momentum to protecting our staff so they are able to provide dental care for children in need.

$60.00 Level

5 Supporters

You're helping 100 children with your $60 donation! These funds will purchase masks to protect our dental staff, so they can provide dental care for children in need.

$120.00 Level

2 Supporters

Your generous donation of $120 will purchase enough masks for our staff to provide dental care for 200 low-income children!

Project Overview

The cost of masks used in healthcare facilities has increased 391% since the pandemic started. Children's Smile Center clinics schedule over 13,000 appointments a year for low-income children in Southwest Missouri, so the increase in cost is significant to our organization.

Impact on Southwest Missouri:

This project will purchase medical masks to protect all our staff and patients in the four locations where do provide dental services, including Ozark, Aurora, Branson West, and Witherspoon Surgery Center. Annually, we help nearly 6,400 children in over 13,000 dental appointments.

Financial Goal for this Project:

One box of masks costs about $15.

The average monthly cost for masks is over $500.

The annual cost for masks in 2021 will be approximately $6,000.

Children's Smile Center is thankful for all donations to support our staff and our mission to provide oral health and wellness to children through access to dental care. We continue to do this in an environment where the Missouri Medicaid reimbursement does NOT cover the cost of care we provide.

Compassionate Care Story:

One of the best compliments we receive at our dental clinics is when a parent or patient says "this feels like a regular dental office." This might not sound like a big deal, until you REALLY think about what they mean. So many who receive services in the welfare community have been accustomed to substandard and aging facilities with limited access and patchwork scheduling.

At Children's Smile Center, we emphasize quality facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and professional staff providing up-to-date dental services in an environment of care, compassion, integrity, common sense and respect.

To see the amazing work our friendly and compassionate staff does in providing dental care to children at a "regular" dental office, please go to our Facebook Page



Thank you for supporting CSC!

The Children's Smile Center board and staff want you to know how much we appreciate your individual donation during Give Ozarks Day.

We were thrilled to see 21 donors provide us a total of $973 in gifts that go towards our need to pay the increased costs of operating our dental clinics as a result of the pandemic.

Also, we were BEYOND excited with the news that we were one of twelve agencies to receive a $5,000 grant that was awarded just after 1:00 p.m. on Give Ozarks Day as a result of individual donations made between noon and 1:00 p.m.

This brings our fundraising total for the day to $5,973!

Thank you for your continued faith in our work and for your gift to help us offset the rising cost of protective masks used every day in our dental clinics.

Jackie Barger
Executive Director of Children's Smile Center


About Children’s Smile Center


To improve oral health and wellness in children through access to quality dental care.


A health smile for every child.


Compassionate care; Positive experiences; Quality services

Children's Smile Center (CSC) provides preventive and primary dental care to children ages 1 to 19 and pregnant women who are Medicaid-eligible and reside in Christian, Taney, Barry, Dade, Lawrence and Stone Counties.

CSC is a 501-c-3 nonprofit agency that provides a full spectrum of dental care including cleanings, x-rays, fillings, sealants, extractions, root canals and crowns.

With three clinic locations in Ozark, Aurora and Branson West, CSC cares for over 6,300 children in our three clinics each year with over 13,000 dental appointments. 

Currently there are no private practice dentists who accept Medicaid in our six-county service area to serve over 20,000 children.  Most dentists do not accept Medicaid because of the extremely low reimbursement rates, making access to dental care very difficult for thousands and thousands of children.  Children’s Smile Center has chosen to operate traditional clinic-based services as a non-profit organization serving children and pregnant women covered by Medicaid, relying on fundraising to make up the difference between what Medicaid pays and what it costs to operate a dental clinic.

We collaborate with most of the school districts and Head Start programs in our service area to provide school screenings twice a year for preschool and elementary students.  This important service is not reimbursed by Medicaid.  We ensure that each student screened receives a hygiene kit including a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss along with an evaluation for parents to review.  CSC completed about 10,000 school screenings each school year.

2006    CSC opened in Ozark for children from Christian & Stone Counties

2009    Renovated Ozark clinic, doubling the capacity

2011    Opened satellite office in Branson West for southern Stone County

2012    Expanded service area to include Barry and Lawrence Counties

2013    Constructed and opened a second full-service clinic in Aurora

2014    Expanded service area to include Taney and Dade Counties

2015    CSC nearly doubles its number of dental visits since 2010, resulting in over 13,000 dental appointments annually

2017    CSC significantly impacted by increased bureaucracy of change in Medicaid funding, now through three different insurance companies instead of pay source

2020    Served emergency-only cases for two months during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown mid-March to mid-May

Children’s Smile Center

Ozark, MO