Dentistry students brighten smiles of second-graders

More than 700 Edgewood Independent School District second-graders received preventive care from dental students and student hygienists from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio during a free dental clinic Feb. 12.

The community service project was held in conjunction with the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile® national event, in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month.

The students received dental screenings, protective sealants and fluoride rinses.
This is the 13th year the School of Dentistry at the UT Health Science Center has provided preventive oral health care for Edgewood ISD students.

“This is our 13th year of doing the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile, but we have had a relationship with Edgewood ISD that goes back to the ‘70s when we used to go into the schools to provide dental care,” said Gary Guest, D.D.S., associate dean for patient care. “We’ve found that this is the best way to screen as many of the children as possible, and our event is probably one of the largest GKAS programs in the U.S.”

In February 2015, 722 children were evaluated and 83 were referred to dentists in community health clinics for follow-up urgent care. The sealants provided in 2015 had a value of $65,468, based on $51 per sealant and $193,676 in professional services to place them, based on average private dental practice fees. These services were provided to the Edgewood students at no cost.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. provided a grant of $15,000 for the sealants and other dental materials used in the “Give Kids a Smile” project.

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