Feb 21 2012 12:30 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – Through a combined community outreach effort, the Department of Dental Education at the University of Utah recently provided free dental care to 90 underserved children in the community at the annual Children’s Clinic of the department at Greenwood Health Center in Midvale.
The children, aged 2 to 18, received free x-rays, cleanings, screenings and cavity fillings. They are all shortlisted by the community to receive care, and for some of them it was the first time they had seen a dentist. According to Craige Olson, DDS, director of the U’s general medicine residency program, some of them even had difficulty concentrating in school due to tooth decay and the resulting pain.
“We’re seeing patients who aren’t typically Medicaid patients or who aren’t insured anywhere,” says Craige Olson, DDS, director of the U.’s general practice residency program. “These are really kids who just don’t have access to affordable care, so we’re trying to fix that and do some good things.”
The volunteers who made this event a success were resident dentists from U of U, dental hygiene students from Salt Lake Community College, various dental professionals from the community, and members of the Utah Dental Association and the Salt Lake Dental Society. The 12 chairs at the Greenwood Health Center dental center were entirely dedicated to children.