01/21/2009

WVU School of Dentistry offers free children’s dental exams Feb. 6

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Dentistry will launch National Children’s Dental Health Month by offering free examinations to children ages 1 to 17 on Friday, Feb. 6, in the WVU Pediatric Dentistry Clinic from 8:45 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:45 p.m.

The appointments are part of the annual “Give Kids a Smile!” national dental access program of the American Dental Association and the West Virginia Dental Association. Since 2003, the WVU School of Dentistry has served more than 450 children through the program.

Appointments are required, and space is limited. To schedule an appointment for the free exam, call 304-293-0401.

WVU dental students will perform the examinations under the supervision of the faculty.

“This program allows our students and faculty to reach out to people in our community who lack access to dental care due to a lack of insurance,” said Louise Veselicky, D.D.S., interim dean of the WVU School of Dentistry. “We encourage area residents to take advantage of this opportunity to visit the clinic and learn of the services we can provide their children.”

The 2001 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health states that nearly one in six children over age 5 will have a cavity by age 17, and nearly eight in 10 children already have dental decay. Dental problems result in nearly 51 million hours of missed school time each year.

Complications arising from untreated diseases of the mouth can lead to problems eating, speaking and learning. More than one third of West Virginia adults have lost six or more teeth as a result of decay or gum disease. This is almost twice the national average.

“When you begin proper oral healthcare at a young age and continue those practices over a lifetime, many incidents of tooth decay can be prevented,” Elliot Shulman, D.D.S., associate professor of pediatric dentistry, said. “We want to educate children and their parents on the importance and benefits of good oral health care.”

“The WVU School of Dentistry has a long tradition of working to improve the oral health of citizens of the state,” Dr. Veselicky said. “We are pleased to be a part of this effort.”

For information on the WVU School of Dentistry see www.hsc.wvu.edu/sod.

-WVU-


09-010
For more information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
jonesan@wvuh.com
asj: 01-20-09

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