SWR5- Dental professionals to donate $1.2 million in care for Give Kids A Smile®

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Southwest Region

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 21-county WDA Southwest Region will feature GKAS® events in several communities this Friday. Activities scheduled for other dates or with available patients slots are specifically noted.

Baraboo – Dental Associates on 14th Street are teaming up with social service agencies and local health departments to identify children in need of dental care. Call 608-356-6611 to inquire about available GKAS® appointments this Friday.

Cassville – Dr. Tom Hughes is marking 30 years of taking his traveling oral hygiene education program to Cassville-area kindergarten and third-grade classrooms during National Children’s Dental Health Month. In addition to information about the importance of daily tooth brushing, flossing and eating healthy, he’ll send more than 190 children home with toothbrushes, toothpaste and age-appropriate dental health information.

Durand – The Chippewa Valley Dental Clinic team will provide free preventive and restorative dental care to 25 underserved children.

Fort Atkinson – Rock River Dental will welcome 15 youngsters to the office from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. for exams, along with basic preventive and restorative care. The local school district and foster care program helped identify young patients with oral health needs.

Holmen – The Midwest Dental team on Holmen Drive partnered with Head Start and local schools to find 30 youngsters in need of basic oral health care.

La CrosseLa Crosse District Dental Society members and volunteer dental staff screened area school children for oral health needs the evening of Jan. 4. Youngsters needing follow-up care will be seen in various private dental offices on Friday. Dr. Kurt Hulse of Onalaska chairs this area effort.

Dr. John Moore and his six-member staff have scheduled appointments to provide youngsters in need with dental exams, sealants, fluoride treatments and basic restorative care.

Approximately 50 children, ages 4 – 14, will be treated by the Midwest Dental South team. Basic preventive services will be provided.

MadisonDane County Dental Society continues to celebrate GKAS® year round. Some 80 general and specialist dentists donated in excess of $196,000 in preventive and extensive restorative dental care in 2012 alone. The countywide program served more than 280 young people, ages 4 to 18, over a recent 12-month period. School nurses and social workers provide case management to help the families focus on healthy lifestyles.

On Friday, the Midwest Dental office on University Avenue will provide a dozen children with preventive care, including sealants and fluoride rinse or varnish. Youngsters with dental infections will also be treated.

Mondovi – Midwest Dental on Monroe Street worked with the Boys and Girls Club to schedule eight children for needed care. Staff will also visit local classrooms and make oral hygiene presentations throughout February.

A dental hygienist from Vogel Family Dentistry will visit area classrooms on Feb. 26 to share important oral hygiene information.

Portage – Midwest Dental on New Pinery Road is scheduling appointments for basic preventive care this Friday. Call 608-742-5573 to inquire about available treatment slots.

Prairie du Chien – PdC Dentistry will welcome 15 young patients for needed care. A limited number of appointments are available. Call 608-326-8458 to learn more.

Stoughton – Dr. Thor Anderson and members of his dental team will visit local classrooms during February, March and April to talk about the importance of dental health to overall well-being and provide basic oral hygiene instruction.

Strum – Midwest Dental on 5th Avenue has 10 youngsters, ages 3 to 18, scheduled for basic dental care on GKAS® Friday.

Verona – Associated Dentists on North Edge Trail are part of the larger Dane County Dental Society, year-round, charitable care outreach.

The First Choice Dental team will bring good dental health messages to local classrooms during February. An estimated 175 elementary students are expected to hear about the importance of daily brushing, flossing and eating a balanced diet.

Watertown – Midwest Dental on Oakridge Court is preparing to provide an estimated $2,500 in basic preventive and restorative care to 16 children on GKAS® day. Call 920-261-5400 to check on available treatment times.

 “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.