NWR1- Dental professionals to donate $1.2 million in care for Give Kids A Smile®


WEST ALLIS, WIS., Jan. 30, 2013 – More than 9,500 low-income Wisconsin children will receive an estimated $1.2 million in donated dental care this Friday, Feb. 1, and during upcoming weeks, as part of the 11th annual Give Kids A Smile® national children’s dental access program. 

At least 330 dentists, 234 dental hygienists and 530 other dental team members, dental, hygiene and assisting students, faculty and community advocates will volunteer their time and skills to get underserved children across the Badger State out of pain and treat dental disease with fillings, extractions and crowns. Other events involve dental health screenings, cleanings and oral hygiene education.

GKAS® activities are taking place in private dental practices, large-scale clinics, classrooms and community centers in at least 59 communities statewide.

The Wisconsin Dental Association and its member dentists and dental hygienists work with the state’s Department of Health Services, local government agencies, schools, Head Start and youth and community organizations to identify low-income children in need of dental treatment.

Tooth decay is a serious and transmissible disease. Early childhood cavities, which are preventable, are five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever among America’s children according to the U. S. Surgeon General’s “Oral Health in America” report.

In the Badger State, DHS reports 25 percent of Head Start children ages 3 and 4 have untreated decay and 33 percent have had cavities and now have fillings.

Children in our nation miss more than 51 million school hours annually because of dental problems according to the Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Data Resource Center.

The 27-county WDA Northwest Region will feature GKAS® events in several communities this Friday. Activities scheduled for other dates or with available patient slots are noted.

Abbotsford – Drs. Christina and Troy Rens and their First City Dental team will again provide free dental exams, sealants and fluoride treatments on Friday, Feb. 8 to 115 Abbotsford and Colby public school second graders. A Clark County public health nurse will present dental health information and schedule needed follow-up care. The Abbotsford Lions Club joins the dental practice in providing each child with a goody bag.

Amery – Dental Arts’ four dentists and 17 other staff members will welcome up to 80 local public school children for necessary preventive and restorative services. Children were prescreened in January.

Antigo – The father-daughter dental team of Drs. Timothy and Meghan O’Brien and their Antigo Dental Clinic staff will provide some 50 youngsters, ages 3 – 13, with dental examinations and preventive treatments.

Baldwin – The Midwest Dental Baldwin team will provide five to 10 children with free exams, X-rays, preventive care and any necessary treatment of cavities.

Chetek – Twenty children, ages 4 – 13, will get a dental exam and preventive care at the Midwest Dental Chetek office.

Eau Claire – Ten Northwest District Dental Society member dentists will again team up with dental hygiene and assisting students at Chippewa Valley Technical College to provide preventive and restorative care and oral hygiene education to 120 children between the ages of 3 and 15.

Hudson – The Dentistry on Vine team will again provide preventive and restorative care to 30 children between the ages of 2 and 18. Good personal oral hygiene and dietary habits are discussed and each child receives a snack bag with bottled water, cheese and an apple. Follow-up care is scheduled as needed throughout February.

The La Petite Dentistry pediatric dental team will provide preventive and limited restorative services to children in recognition of GKAS®. Some appointments may still be available, so parents are asked to call 855-527-3848.

Hurley – Dr. Paul Hagemann and five volunteer staff are providing dental screenings and fluoride varnish to an estimated 75 youngsters enrolled in Head Start and local schools. Local health departments are also referring youngsters, ages 2 – 6. Care is being provided on Feb. 1 and several other dates.

Menomonie – Menomonie Midwest Dental will welcome 10 youngsters for a variety of preventive and restorative services. Patients have been referred by various community groups, schools and educational programs and social service agencies.

Merrill – The Midwest Dental office on East Main Street is scheduling 10 children for basic preventive and restorative services.

New Richmond – New Richmond Dental is accepting appointments for basic preventive treatments and restorative care. An estimated 64 youngsters, ages 3 – 12, can be accommodated. Call 715-246-2227 for info.

Rice Lake – Six dentists and 28 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College dental team members will deliver important preventive and restorative care to children with appointments this Friday. Call 715-234-7082, extension 5146 to ask about available slots. Classroom presentations on oral hygiene will also be scheduled during February as part of National Children’s Dental Health Month.  

River Falls – Midwest Dental on Commerce Court will provide preventive treatment and necessary restorative care for seven youngsters referred by local schools.

Tomahawk – Dr. Dean Hussong and his team are celebrating GKAS® on Jan. 31. This dental practice is scheduling 28 children for exams, cleanings and restorative care. 

Wausau – The Midwest Dental team on 24th Avenue, South will provide 20 Head Start children with basic oral health care.

Weston – Fourteen children have been scheduled for free preventive and restorative treatment at the Midwest Dental clinic on Memorial Court.

“The WDA, American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend children have a professional dental exam no later than age 1, because baby teeth matter to a child’s early physical, social and emotional development,” said Dr. Timothy Durtsche, WDA president and La Crosse oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Approximately $6 million in free dental care and instruction has been provided to 40,417 Wisconsin youth through GKAS® since 2003.

“Charity isn’t an effective or efficient way of reducing barriers to dental care. Dentists are glad to donate their time and skills, but we also want to work with lawmakers to help the state make ‘Healthy Choices’ for the long term,” Durtsche said.

GKAS® activities are supported, in part, nationwide with donations from Henry Schein Dental, Colgate and DEXIS®. WDA Insurance and Services Corp. offers pediatric dental forms to Wisconsin GKAS® events through The Dental Record under its Professional Services Division.