The UNLV School of Dental Medicine provided free oral health screenings, sealants, fluoride varnish and cleanings to nearly 100 children ages 5 to 15. The first Sealants for Smiles event aims to help children who do not have access to regular dental care.
The event was held on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the UNLV School of Dental Medicine on 1700 W. Charleston Blvd.
About 40 dental and predental students performed the preventive services and conduct oral hygiene workshops under faculty supervision.
During the screening, dental students will look for cavities and made sure that the children's teeth and gums are healthy. Students reviewed good home care and nutrition habits with the children and their families.
Children received sealants, which are plastic covers that are applied to first and second permanent molars that reduce the risk of getting cavities on these teeth.
"It's vital that children get their first permanent molar sealed at the age of 6 when the tooth first appears and around 12 when the second molar appears," said Christina Demopoulos, assistant professor. "The event also helps dental students get a better understanding of the importance of preventive care in the reduction of cavities and makes our students more comfortable with providing care to children."
The dental school works with local community centers focused on providing care to children and families in addition to the Clark County School District to recruit participants who can benefit from the free services.
Children can also receive assistance at the UNLV School of Dental Medicine's free Saturday Children's Clinic, which serves 5 to 12 year olds and takes place about nine times a year. Children between ages 13 to 15 can get care through the pediatric dental residency program at a rate that is more affordable than most private practices.
About the UNLV School of Dental Medicine
The UNLV School of Dental Medicine (SDM) has a commitment to serving the community and educating the public about the importance of dental care. Faculty and student dentists have treated thousands of patients who cannot afford the cost of dental care or are ineligible for Medicaid. Patients at the SDM clinics receive comprehensive care including exams, x-rays, cleanings, extractions and fillings at reduced rates. The Shadow Lane Clinic is in an area that is defined as underserved by the state and federal government.
Additional Outreach clinics include:
Sgt. Clint Ferrin Memorial Clinic
Started by dental school alumnus, John Ferrin, in memory of his brother, Sgt. Clint Ferrin, this clinic serves the needs of veterans making less than $25,000 per year without insurance. The clinic takes place eight to nine times per year and treats about 35 patients each time. Free treatment has been provided to more than 500 veterans.
Huntridge Homeless & Teen Clinic
The Huntridge Clinic's mission is to provide medical and dental care to uninsured and at-risk adolescents and homeless adults who are unable to obtain state services. Each year, UNLV Faculty and students provide dental treatment to more than1,000 at-risk youth and 200 homeless adults through this partnership.
Seal Nevada South
Since 2002, the Seal Nevada South Program has provided more than $170,000 worth of care to more than 25,000 elementary school students in Clark County. This program offers oral health education, oral hygiene instruction, oral health screenings, dental sealants and fluoride varnish to second- and third-grade students at underprivileged schools.
The Healthy Smiles: Oral Health Education for Parents program provides individual oral health education presentations to parents as well as oral hygiene workshops for parents and children at community events. Families learn together how to better take care of their teeth and how to keep them healthy through good oral hygiene and nutrition habits.
Shade Tree Women's Clinic
This clinic provides free dental care to domestic violence victims. Patients for this clinic are temporary residents at the Shade Tree Women's Shelter. American Association of Women Dentists and dental school faculty volunteer six times per year and treat around 25 patients annually.
Started in 2011, the Shannon Clinic works to provide homeless teens free emergency dental work to eliminate pain and discomfort. The Shannon Clinic and UNLV have exclusive agreements with specific shelters to offer these services. The clinic provides dental extractions, pathological diagnosis, prosthodontic consultation and dental education.
Pediatric Special Needs Clinic
Throughout the year this clinic is offered to treat children with special needs. Children, and occasionally adults, with a range of developmental, medical and behavioral needs receive both preventative and restorative treatment in a friendly and accepting environment.
General Practice Residency Clinic
Throughout the year, as part of the General Practice Residency program, pro bono treatment is provided for the medically compromised, including cancer and transplant patients before surgery or continued medical treatment.
For information about the clinics contact the School of Dental Medicine at 702-774-2500.