Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas



From the #deltadentalARFoundation: The wheels on this bus go round and round all through the town to bring dental care to children in Northwest Arkansas.

Have you seen it?

It may be parked at a public school near you right now.

This bus is the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a whopping 40 feet long and 14 feet wide, state-of-the-art full-service pediatric dental office on wheels. Operated and managed by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas in partnership with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, it travels to schools in Benton and Washington counties to provide free onsite dental care to uninsured students.

“We go where the children already are,” said Leah Jones, president and CEO of RMHC ARkoma.

“Where” is their local school. Delivering free dental care in schools rather than the traditional dental office removes many barriers to obtaining oral health care: lack of transportation, lack of paid time off, lack of dental insurance, imperfect English language skills, uncertainty about the health care system and more.

The bus parked at Walker Elementary School in Springdale this spring for several weeks. The school nurse helped promote the opportunity of free dental services to families and scheduled dental appointments for eligible students (uninsured only) with parental permission. At their first visit, the students received an oral health exam, a take-home dental hygiene kit and a treatment plan for the parents to approve.

Many would repeatedly return over several months to complete the necessary dental services.

The Care Mobile offers all preventive, basic and restorative treatments, ranging from sealants to fillings to pediatric crowns and even root canals. The staff also assists the students and their families in applying for Medicaid and finding a permanent dental home. A #communitygrant from the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation helps fund their work.

And so the Care Mobile travels from school to school. It makes about eight stops per year, spending an average of six weeks at each school.

We keep humming “The Wheels on the Bus” as we applaud this innovative, practical approach to providing dental care to some of our youngest, most vulnerable Arkansans.

What other organizations plan to operate mobile dental units? Or have novel ideas? Can we help with funding and resources? Check out our grant opportunities here.


This story was first published on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Ronald McDonald House of Arkoma Infographic


Ronald McDonald House of Arkoma Dental Setting


Ronald McDonald House of Arkoma Dental Chair

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas