Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Seeking Applications for $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, is now accepting applications for its seventh annual Wisdom Tooth Award. The $100,000 grant is available to a non-profit organization, government entity or school with a program dedicated to improving oral health in the state.

The Wisdom Tooth Award is designed to help expand or enhance an existing children’s oral health program in Illinois. Eligible organizations must have a physical presence in Illinois, benefit children and have an established program that provides oral health education and/or access to oral health resources and care.

“Improving the oral health of Illinois children is crucial to their overall health and well-being,” said Lora Vitek, director of philanthropy and community relations for Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “The prevalence of poor oral health and tooth decay among Illinois children can impact attendance at school as well as the ability to concentrate, talk, eat and smile. The Wisdom Tooth Award allows us to support programs and organizations working to improve the health of Illinois children.”

The Macoupin County Public Health Department received the 2018 Wisdom Tooth Award. The grant is being used to add dental staff to the department’s clinic and school-based oral health services, and to support a new, four-chair dental clinic to serve area children from birth to age 18. Macoupin County is recognized as a low-income Dental Health Professional Shortage Area. With no pediatric dentists in this area, the department has one of the only dental clinics serving children in rural west central Illinois.

The deadline to apply for the 2019 Wisdom Tooth Award is May 13 at 5 p.m. Central time. The recipient will be announced this summer. The organization that receives the grant has up to two years to use the funding.

Illinois public charities classified as exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and public or governmental entities, such as public schools or health departments, are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s Wisdom Tooth Award was launched in 2013. In addition to the Macoupin County Public Health Department, other Illinois organizations that have received the Wisdom Tooth Award include: Promise Healthcare in Champaign (2013); St. Bernard Hospital Dental Center in Chicago (2014); Central Counties Health Centers, Inc. in Springfield (2015); Crusader Community Health in Rockford (2016); and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry (2017).

Visit to learn more about Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and its programs to improve oral health in Illinois.