Delta Dental of Missouri employees and the Missouri Bureau of Dental Health formed the P.A.N.D.A. (Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness) coalition in 1992.
The main focus of the P.A.N.D.A. program is to educate dentists about their responsibility by law to report suspected cases of abuse or neglect among patients. Today, P.A.N.D.A. has a two-fold meaning for Delta Dental. We use the program to remind dentists of their responsibility by law to their patients, and also to remind children in the community to pay special attention to their oral health.
On August 13, 1992, the Adopt-A-Panda Program was developed. Cuddly panda bears and a framed adoption certificate are given to those who submit an adoption application and $15.
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Over 550 pandas have been adopted. The proceeds go toward the "Train-the-Trainer" sessions for area dentists. Applications can be mailed, along with a check or money order payable to Delta Dental, to:
Delta Dental of Missouri
12399 Gravois Road
St. Louis, MO 63126
The P.A.N.D.A. program has enjoyed tremendous growth - coalitions have been formed in 38 states as well as Israel, Canada, Romania and, just recently, Finland.
The following agencies participate in the P.A.N.D.A. coalition:
- the Missouri Dental Association
- the Missouri Dental Hygienists' Association
- the Missouri Division of Family Services
- UMKC School of Dentistry
- the Bureau of Dental Health.