August 15, 2007

School of Dental Medicine aims to improve dental health locally, abroad

As part of the 2007 Case for Community Day—Friday, September 21—Case Daily will feature community outreach initiatives being conducted at each of the university's colleges, as well as several campus centers and departments.

smiling child

The School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University has several programs that involve health services, education and research, which provide opportunities and resources for both graduate students studying dental care systems and residents in the community.

One example is the Give Kids a Smile Program, a collaboration between the dental school and the Ohio Dental Association. The program includes dentists from the Greater Cleveland Dental Society and the Ohio Dental Association, as well School of Dental Medicine faculty and students who are dedicated to providing better oral health for children. Volunteers provide local youth from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland with free dental check ups, cleanings and sealing of healthy teeth. In addition, the volunteers call attention to the effects of poor oral health: approximately 51 million school hours are lost each year due to toothaches and other dental problems.

Another of the school's outreach programs focusing on children is the Healthy Smiles Sealant Program that has helped to reduce oral health disparities for children in the Cleveland Schools since 2001. Program volunteers visit all 83 elementary and middle schools and treat over 5,000 children annually. In addition, the program sends community health educators to work with more than 17,000 elementary and middle school students. Thanks to donations and the St. Luke's, Robert Wood Johnson and Cleveland foundations, all of the services are free.

Dental students also visit the Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland twice weekly—as well as several evenings—to offer comprehensive dental care to the clinic's clients.

School of Dental Medicine faculty, students and staff also provide care beyond the immediate community. Twice a year, a student-initiated program sends volunteers to the Dominican Republic to provide comprehensive dental care.

Visit the dental school's Web site to learn of the school's other outreach initiatives and services.

For more information, contact Kimyette Finley at 216-368-0521.

Posted by: Marsha Bragg, August 15, 2007 09:55 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Collaborations/Partnerships, Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives

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