INDIO – If you thought Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio was going to rest on its laurels after its highly successful ribbon-cutting on Sunday, think, again. It’s just getting started.

The three empty dental chairs attendees saw at Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio, Jill and Barry Golden Pavilion are expected to be filled with children in early fall.

That’s when LLU Children’s Health – Indio, the largest pediatric clinic in the area is expected to begin offering dental services, filling a vast need in the Coachella Valley.

Loma Linda to Offer Pediatric Dental ServicesThe majority of Coachella Valley children, 86.3 percent, or 85,686 children, have been to see a dentist at least once, Coachella Valley Community Health Survey 2016. However, 13.7 percent of children, or 13,564 children, have never been to the dentist.

The survey was conducted by Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC) and last updated on February 6, 2017.

Of the 85,686 children who have visited the dentist, most, 55.5 percent, visited before the age of three. Very few children, about 400, had their first visit after the age of 12.

Of the 54.1 percent, or 3,426, children who have not been to the dentist in the past year, the most common reason is that there have been no problems. This indicates that many lack information on the benefits of preventive dental visits, and only go to the dentist when there is a problem.

About a third of children age 5 and older, floss every day or more often. However, more than 17,000 children do not floss at all, indicating they likely are at risk for dental problems as a result of their lack of dental hygiene.

Dr. Richard H. Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health, shared his excitement as Loma Linda University Health expanded its service area into the Coachella Valley to provide healthcare that is accessible and available to those who need it most.

“We are committed to this valley. We are committed to you,” Hart said. “We are committed to your children and the leaders they will become for this region.”

LLU Children’s Health – Indio officially opened its doors to the community March 12, offering pediatric primary care services.

It is the talk of the valley.

A longtime Coachella Valley resident and leader in the area said, “Pediatric healthcare of that quality in our valley, particularly the East Valley, is the most significant regional benefit we’ve received since CSUSB and UCR combined to provide higher education in the mid-valley 20 years ago,” he said.

Loma Linda to Offer Pediatric Dental ServicesIn the coming months the clinic will roll out other services, such as urgent care, telemedicine, dentistry and other specialties. The nearly 13,000-square-foot building houses 20 patient exam rooms, three dental chairs and an X-ray room.

The clinic is also home to a bottomless bookshelf, courtesy of Scooter Golden, to encourage reading and literacy. Any child who receives care at LLUCH – Indio will be able to take a book home.

To make an appointment or for more information about LLUCH – Indio, call 760-477-0733 or visit them on the web HERE.