Roseman DMD Students Provide Care to Over 500 Children at 2016 Give Kids a Smile
In correlation with ADA Foundation’s Give Kids a Smile® (GKAS) kick-off day, Roseman University’s College of Dental Medicine held its 3rd annual GKAS event on February 5. As a non-profit institution of higher education, Roseman University is committed to improving oral health care for children throughout the Intermountain West. The event provides a unique opportunity to increase access to care for these children, while also allowing dental students to participate in an important cause that they will hopefully continue when they enter a career as a dental provider.
The ADA Foundation began Give Kids a Smile to raise awareness for “children who do not receive dental care…and to establish a dental home,” according to the ADA Foundation website (adafoundation.org). Roseman’s unique approach to GKAS parallels that goal—previous events have resulted in 44.5% of patients returning to The Dental Clinic at Roseman University as their dental home. Of these, over 82% reported having no dental insurance, 50% have not seen a dentist in over a year, and 48% had unmet dental needs, including decay.Perhaps more importantly, children who participated in the event received a positive dental experience and were able to learn more about the importance of oral health care.
“Meeting student doctors, playing games, and learning about dental health is a great opportunity to establish a positive lasting effect for children. Hopefully events like this plant a seed to help children maintain their oral health and feel comfortable attending the dentist throughout their life,” said Dr. Aaron Ferguson, Director of Public Health Education at Roseman University College of Dental Medic
At the event, over 500 children received limited exams, prophys, and sealants for an estimated value of over $90,000. Additionally, they were given vouchers to return for comprehensive exams, a complete set of radiographs, and $50 to put toward future care if needed. In total Roseman University’s Give Kids a Smile program will result in over $214,000 worth of dental care donated to the community, and a dental home for hundreds of children in need.
Ray Durham, Student Chapter Member