OU College of Dentistry’s free care to leave kids all smiles | The Journal Record

The importance of dental care is vastly underestimated in terms of what it means for general health and quality of life. Kids’ Day at the OU College of Dentistry is a unique opportunity for students to give back to the community by providing free dental care to kids 4-12 years old who might not otherwise receive it. (Photo illustration by Nate Johnston on Unsplash)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Children in Oklahoma who don’t get to see a dentist as needed on a regular basis might benefit from free dental care to be provided Feb. 26.

The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, in partnership with the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation, will hold its annual Kids’ Day event that day at 1201 N. Stonewall Ave. in Oklahoma City. Children 4-12 who have pre-registered will be eligible to receive a variety of services, including cleanings, fillings and crowns, at no cost.

The first Kids’ Day was held 23 years ago, as people involved with the college thought to serve the community by helping children who might not otherwise have received needed care. It initially was confined to the metro area but over the years has spread statewide.

Under supervision of trained dentists and faculty members, students pursuing degrees in dental professions provide services.

“First proposed in 1997 by dental student Darrel Daugherty, DDS, M.S., Kids’ Day is a much-anticipated annual event, planned and executed by students, with necessary logistical support from the department. Historically, more than 200 students, staff and faculty members volunteer to make the one-day event a success,” a release from the college states.

Kevin Haney, assistant dean for student and academic administration, said the department began tracking the value of donated services in 2002. To date, services valued at nearly $675,000 have been provided to hundreds of children at no cost.

Paul Mullasseril, dean of the OU College of Dentistry, said the benefits of Kids’ Day are important and are amplified over time.

“Through its student and faculty volunteers, the College of Dentistry is making an investment in communities across the state,” he said. “Kids’ Day creates an experiential educational opportunity that contributes to the development of excellent dental professionals. Further, it is an opportunity to engender in our graduates a mindset of service and citizenship.”

“We’re fortunate to have a dental college in our state with an international reputation for exceptional education and as a result, produces the exceptional professionals who serve our communities,” added John Gladden, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Oklahoma. “In addition, the OU College of Dentistry is conducting research that drives innovation and technological advances in dental practice and procedure. Delta Dental is proud to support this effort to elevate oral health and education for residents across the state, which will yield benefits well into the future.”

Tim Fagan, head of the division of pediatric dentistry and faculty sponsor of the Kids’ Day program student group, said the importance of dental care is vastly underestimated in terms what it means for general health and quality of life.

“Kids’ Day is a unique opportunity for our students to give back to the community by providing dental care that might not otherwise be available,” he said.

Pre-registration is required. Call 405-607-4755. Times will be assigned during the required pre-registration process. When available times are filled, pre-registration will be closed. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Proof of guardianship is necessary if the patient’s biological parent is not present to consent to treatment.

This content was originally published here.

Author: topline

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