Why is it important?
Healthy Smiles 
Sealant Program

 Scroll down for an overview of the background, challenges and
outcomes of this long-term initiative.

The mission of the Healthy Smiles program is to reduce disparities in oral healthcare
for underserved children in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District


Since 2000, Healthy Smiles has provided CMSD
students with dental screenings, sealants and
ongoing care referrals, as well as dental health
and hygiene education.

Under the supervision of Case Western Reserve University
Dental School faculty, pre-doctoral dental students perform dental exams and apply sealants to students in grades 2, 3, 6 and 7 at temporary clinics set up in each participating school.


According to U.S. News and World Report


Oral health is the #1
unmet medical
need in poor 

Health status is
directly linked to

Research shows direct
links between oral 
health and overall

Who makes it happen?

Just 20% of children account for 80% of dental disease occurrences
(poor, inner-city children are the most affected)


83% of CMSD students meet federal poverty guidelines
and do not have a “dental home”


The program provides hands-on experience to first-year dental students
(CWRU is only school that has first-year clinical experience)


It sensitizes dental students to the needs of underserved populations

The program brings treatment directly to 
Cleveland schoolchildren, in their schools.

Chair and Professor in the
Department of Community Dentistry

School of Dental Medicine at
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Lalumandier has been the driving
force behind Healthy Smiles. Spend any
amount of time with Dr. Lalumandier,
and several qualities become quickly apparent – drive, energy, intellect, humor, and kindness.

 Since 1999, another important quality,
perseverence, has served the doctor
 well in overcoming the many obstacles to
promoting healthier smiles for Cleveland kids

and a better education for dental students.

Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine initiated The Healthy Smiles Sealant Program in collaboration with CMSD through a 1999 pilot grant 
funded by Saint Luke's Foundation.

After the success of the pilot program, Saint Luke’s Foundation committed to long-term funding for this program. A total of $6.9 million was granted to this program from 1999-2013.

Funding was also provided by:
The Cleveland Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Delta Dental

“We learned that great
results like this take time,
patience and persistence.”

 Denise San Antonio Zeman
President and CEO of Saint Luke's Foundation

Were there obstacles? Yes.

CMSD had to get buy-in to ensure parental permission and student participation


 CWRU had to institute curriculum changes,
which required faculty approvals


CWRU needed to create a required first-year course,
“Outreach Preventive Dentistry”


As the program continues to grow,
funding remains a challenge

“Someone has to drive the van, and initially that someone was me,” says Dr. Lalumandier.

Has it made a difference? Yes.

CMSD 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th graders continue to be served by Healthy Smiles.

CWRU remains committed
to sustaining Healthy Smiles while seeking additional
funding opportunities.

Janet E. Burney

Saint Luke's Foundation
Board Member

Cleveland kids
have received
dental care
to date


Dental students continue to provide crucial service in underserved areas

Healthy Smiles
is now being
used as a
national model

recognized as
a leader in

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11327 Shaker Blvd. Suite 600W, Cleveland, Ohio 44104

(216) 431-8010