SIOUX FALLS - Dental care specialists hope a $3.3 million federal grant will help improve oral health on the American Indian reservations in South Dakota.

Officials have hired seven dental hygienists to serve tribal members and plan to hire 15 health coordinators to provide support services, including public education.

The Argus Leader newspaper reports that the three-year grant for the "Circle of Smiles" project is from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It was awarded to the Indian Health Service, the South Dakota Dental Association, the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board and the nonprofit insurer Delta Dental of South Dakota.

Delta Dental expects to contribute an additional $1 million for equipment, training and other expenses.

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