Dental Hygiene Students, Faculty and Staff Join Washington County Dental Society Members to Give Kids A Smile

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Pacific University Dental Hygiene students and employees joined forces with members of the Washington County Dental Society at the university's Hillsboro Campus on Saturday, Feb. 7 to literally give more than 100 children a smile.

The two entities came together for the seventh consecutive year to provide western Washington County a site for the American Dental Association's national "Give Kids A Smile" initiative. This year, 22 WCDS dentists and 25 of their assistants joined 64 Pacific dental students,15 faculty and four staff members, as well as approximately 12 Pacific dental hygiene alumni and six community volunteers in donating seven hours of their time and expertise to deliver the care to 101 pre-screened children.

The kids received comprehensive oral evaluations, including x-rays of their teeth, oral hygiene instruction, teeth cleanings with fluoride treatments, and restorative procedures such as dental fillings, crown placements and necessary extractions. In all, the children received more than $67,200 worth of dental care at no cost to their families, many of which are uninsured or underinsured. The total value includes the estimated cost of $26,300 for materials, equipment and time to fill cavities, place crowns or extract severely diseased teeth.

Give Kids A Smile began in 2003 as a way for its members to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Each year, approximately 450,000 children at 1,500 sites around the country benefit because of the efforts of more than 40,000 volunteers. Pacific and the WCDS’ "Give Kids A Smile" day began in 2009 and has grown each year to provide services to an increasing number of children from low-income households.

Feb. 13, 2015