Owens extending opportunities for free dental hygiene for kids

Press Staff Writer

        According to the American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA), tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting 60 percent of children ages 5 to 17 and 25 percent of children under the age of 5.
        These statistics are why Owens Dental Hygiene Department has provided dental care to the underserved for 15 years at its annual Give Kids A Smile event. Due to the overwhelming response to the event this year, the Dental Hygiene Department is offering additional free Dental Hygiene Days for kids. 
        “This year, due to COVID, we still provided much-needed services to help with access-to-care issues in our community but on a smaller scale,” said Beth Tronolone, chair, Owens Dental Hygiene Program. “The event was a great success. Appointments filled up within a week, demonstrating the need for access to dental care for children in our community. In response, we are offering anyone that could not make the event an opportunity to schedule a free appointment.” 
        To schedule an appointment, area residents should call 567-661-7294 and ask for the Free Dental Hygiene Day for kids. An appointment will be booked during regular dental hygiene clinic hours.  
        “At Owens, we feel privileged to assist in this long-standing tradition to bridge the gap between providing dental hygiene care and access-to-care issues,” Tronolone said.
        Per CDC guidelines, the clinic is limiting the number of children per day to ensure a safe environment.
        Owens’ Dental Hygiene program also offers dental services to area residents through its Dental Hygiene Clinic. The 20-chair clinic is staffed by dental hygiene students and supervised by licensed dental professionals at Owens. The clinic provides dental care in the form of exams by a dentist, x-rays, oral hygiene and nutritional education, dental cleanings, fluoride varnish and restorative treatment needs if necessary.
        Typically, appointments are available during the Fall and Spring semesters for a $35 fee.


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