College of Dentistry to hold Children's Dental Day

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | February 01, 2018

Image with caption: Approximately 175 Nebraska children will receive free dental care at Friday's event in Lincoln.

Approximately 175 Nebraska children will receive free dental care at Friday's event in Lincoln.

Half of all youths ages 6-15 have experienced dental decay in the state of Nebraska, according to a 2016 state oral health assessment.

Faculty and students at the UNMC College of Dentistry know that they can impact that statistic by continuing to provide services to those most vulnerable through the annual Children's Dental Day event being held on Friday at the college in Lincoln.

Approximately 175 children from seven communities will receive nearly $100,000 in care that includes -- cleanings, extractions, fillings, root canals and stainless steel crowns.

"We are so pleased to help the children in Nebraska with their dental needs, and I am extremely grateful to the faculty, staff and students for their roles in making this a positive experience for the kids," said Janet Guthmiller, D.D.S., Ph.D., dean, UNMC College of Dentistry. "The care that is provided will likely infuse many more smiles into their communities."

Since 2001, the College of Dentistry has treated more than 6,000 children and provided services valued at more than $3 million to low income and underserved children in the state.

This year children from Crete, Columbus, Hastings, Grand Island, Fremont, Omaha and Lincoln are expected to attend. Some of these children will be seeing a dentist for the first time.

The annual event also provides information on the importance of oral health through a variety of educational games and activities for the children, their parents and chaperones.

All of the children participating in the event are identified and pre-screened in their communities by volunteers, including school nurses, members of faith-based organizations, Head Start, dentists and dental hygienists.

These volunteers donate their time to identify needy children, provide oral health screenings that indicate the type of care the children will need when they come to the college, and in many cases, come with the children for emotional support and translation services.

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