Toledo dentists partner with clinics to provide free dental care to over 650 kids - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Toledo dentists partner with clinics to provide free dental care to over 650 kids

For more information, contact:  Kathy L. Woodard, ODA director of public service
(614) 486-2700 (office) or (614) 306-1355 (cell)
OR  Dr. Nan Tertel
Dental Center of Northwest Ohio
(419) 478-8685 (office) or (419) 704-8227 (cell)
Dr. Keith Norwalk, for event at Owens Community College
(419) 855-4700 (office) or (419) 260-1383 cell

WHO: Members and officers of the Ohio Dental Association (ODA) and Toledo Dental Society, and children in need of dental care

WHAT:  The official statewide launch of the ODA's annual Give Kids A Smile! Day Ohio, held Feb. 1, 2008. Dental services will be provided for free to underprivileged children on this and other dates over the next several months at dental clinics, dentist's offices, colleges, schools and other sites in Ohio. Estimated dollar value of the Ohio GKAS Day events is over $1 million in free dental services and programs for 2008. In the two Toledo sites, the anticipated value of donated care is estimated at $225,000.

Media and special guests are invited to a continental breakfast and tour of the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio and mobile dental unit, to see children receiving the care and speak to parents, dentists and dignitaries, starting at 8:30.

WHEN &:  Site 1: The Dental Center of Northwest Ohio in Toledo,

2138 Madison Avenue ... Friday, Feb. 1 from 8 a.m.

WHERE to 4 p.m., or until the last child is seen. Children will receive exams, cleaning, preventive, restorative and surgical dental treatments. Those in need of additional care will be "adopted" by volunteer dentists for follow-up care in the dental office or referred back to the clinic.

Site 1a: The 2-operatory mobile unit, Smile Express, at this site. Same hours.

Site 2: Owens Community College dental clinic in Perrysburg ... Friday, Feb. 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until last child is seen. Children will receive dental exams, cleaning, and preventive.

WHY: Because dentistry and the state of Ohio care about children. This is the sixth annual GKAS! Day, a program started by the American Dental Association at which dentists join with their peers nationally to educate, screen, diagnose and/or treat disadvantaged children for free. For most, it is their first visit to a dentist. In Ohio, over 2,000 dentists and other volunteers will donate their time and services collectively or individually to provide educational events, examinations, oral hygiene instruction, cleanings, and other dental services to children. Many sites will screen children on one day and also volunteer to provide the necessary aftercare at a later date(s). More than 24,000 Ohio children are expected to participate in the free programs statewide.

SIGNIFICANCE: To educate on the importance of maintaining good oral health beyond regular brushing and flossing; e.g., the mouth/body connection, good nutrition, not using tobacco products, regular dental visits and so on. The programs also provide oral hygiene instruction, dental examinations, preventive, and restorative services for Ohio children and to make a further impact on the access to dental care problem that exists in the U.S. This is particularly significant given the daunting statistic that more than 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related illness. (U.S. Surgeon General, 2003). Children seen will be given toothbrush and toothpaste, and booklets on how to maintain good oral health for life.

PARTNERS: Give Kids A Smile! Day Ohio would not be as successful without support from others. In addition to services and materials provided to GKAS volunteers by the American Dental Association and Ohio Dental Association, support has also been provided by Delta Dental of Ohio and numerous local sponsors throughout the state. Give Kids A Smile! Day is supported nationally by Colgate, Sullivan-Schein Dental - U.S. dental division of Henry Schein, and Dexis Digital X-ray Systems, Inc. Local supporters include Signature Bank, Marco's Pizza, Premier Catering, Kroger Company, and Harborlite Oral Surgery Group.

American Dental Association

The Give Kids A Smile name was first used by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and area dentists who set up a temporary full-service clinic that treated nearly 400 children over two days in February 2002. GKAS! Day became a national program in 2003.

Since then the program has grown enormously each year, and in 2008 resulted in dental services to nearly 478,000 children throughout the country! Reported events took place at 1,887 locations, with some 12,103dentists and 34,974 other volunteers, providing free services to children in need. The reported dollar value of care nationally was $29,825,109.00.

The ADA's role in the national Give Kids A Smile project is to function as an umbrella for the numerous charitable education, screening, prevention and comprehensive treatment programs already in existence by having as many of them as possible occur on the same day under the same brand. At the same time, the campaign provides a framework for identifying, cataloging and recognizing the many access activities - large and small - that take place throughout the year.

Ohio Dental Association

In 2003, the first year of GKAS! Day, several hundred dentists provided over $200,000 in free services to Ohio children.

In Ohio, the number of volunteers and treatment value of services to children has increased substantially in the past two years. In 2004 and in 2005, more than $800,000 in free dental services and programs were provided each year to nearly 30,000 Ohio children. In 2006, 20,000 children in need were served by more than 1,900 Ohio dentists and other dental volunteers. The reported value of offered services in 2006 was over $1,050,000.

In 2007, reported value of free dental services was in excess of $1,115,749 reaching over 23,000 Ohio children, and in 2008, despite several events postponed or cancelled because of weather problems, over 17,000 Ohio children participated in GKAS programs with a reported dollar value of more than $1,016,553.

In the first six years of GKAS, Ohio dental volunteers gave more than $4,996,212 in free dental servicesto Ohio children in need!

Financial Impact of GKAS! Day

In addition to the volunteer efforts of the dentists and other dental professionals, there are significant in-kind donations made by dental clinics, dental schools, and dental offices which can lose substantial revenue for the day that the facility is doing only volunteer work. Dentists still pay overhead for their office and salaries for staff who are integral to the success of their event. Sponsors also support GKAS! Day programs at the state and national level.

For 2008 GKAS! Day events, Colgate and Sullivan Schein again provided significant donations to GKAS events throughout the U.S. In addition, Den Tek Oral Care Inc. donated 150,000 flossers nationally. Of the 2008 products given by these two sponsors, Ohio programs received 11,050 toothbrushes/ toothpaste, and 112 screening/professional product kits. For the fifth year, Delta Dental of Ohio supported the ODA's GKAS programs, providing grant which helped cover the cost of Toothprints and educational materials for parents.SAVE THE DATE: The seventh annual GKAS is February 6, 2009!

Source: Toledo Dental Society

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