PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A mobile dentistry program has served its 20,000th patient.

The Pierre Capital Journal reports that Dakota Smiles uses two fully-equipped vehicles crisscrossing the state to perform preventative and restorative work along with oral health education.

The program since its inception has done more than $9 million in dental work for kids in 73 communities.

Delta Dental of South Dakota president CEO Scott Jones had heard about mobile medical units back in 2004 through his involvement with Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Dakota. He knew a mobile dental unit was what the state needed.

Dakota Smiles manager Carrie Mikkonen says by 2006, the program's one bus was booked through the end of the decade. That led to the addition of a second one in 2008.

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