Children's Dental Day is a College of Dentistry outreach program. Students, staff and faculty volunteer their time to provide dental screening, diagnosis, cleaning and care to underserved children in Nebraska. Started in 2001, Children's Dental Days is held twice a year. Over 6,000 children have been treated and over $3 million in free dental services have been provided.
Children typically come from non-fluoridated communities and have little or no access to dental care. They are identified by district health departments working in conjunction with school nurses and other care givers. These volunteers coordinate the children’s participation and arrange with local dentists to provide a screening examination at which x-rays are taken and a preliminary diagnosis and treatment plan is developed.
Eastern Nebraska Event
Children's Dental Day is held the first Friday in February at the College of Dentistry. This day has been designated by the American Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile Day. Children from across eastern Nebraska are identified, screened and come to the college for treatment.
About 200 children are scheduled for procedures ranging from cleaning to restorations, extractions, pulpotomies, stainless steel crowns and root canal therapy. Emergency care is provided and the children take part in educational activities designed to increase their awareness of the importance of taking care of their teeth
Western Nebraska Event
A second Children's Dental Day is held in June in the Nebraska Panhandle. The college transports students, faculty, staff and portable equipment to sites in Sidney, Alliance, Chadron and Gordon. About 200 children are seen among the four locations.
The Panhandle District Health Department is a major contributor to this program and helps coordinate many of the activities ranging from identifying the children to arranging logistics.