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Dental School Goes into Community to 'Give Kids a Smile'


To mark the beginning of Children's Dental Health Month, the School of Dental & Oral Surgery is participating in the national 2 nd Annual Give Kids a Smile Da y -- offering children in northern Manhattan and the Bronx free dental screenings, oral health education information, health insurance information, fun activities and free giveaways.

On Friday, February 6, services will be offered at the following locations:

• Columbia University Medical Center -- Pediatric Dentistry, 722 West 168 th Street (Haven Avenue), from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

• Thelma C. Davidson Adair Medical & Dental Center , 565 Manhattan Avenue (124 th Street , entrance on Hancock Place), from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

• PS 128 Audubon Public School ; 560 Audubon Avenue at 169 th Street . This is open only to children at PS 128 who have a signed consent form.

- Mobile Dental Center , 543 East 189 th Street , Bronx . This is open to children at La Peninsula Head Start Center in the Bronx and at Columbia Club House (Boys & Girls Club).

Tooth decay is the single most prevalent chronic childhood disease -- five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. There are significant disparities in oral diseases by race and income 25-percent of all children have 80-percent of all dental decay. Access to care is the primary reason. In New York State , about 4 million people live in designated dental shortage areas, and almost 2 million children lack dental insurance.

Give Kids A Smile Day is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association, Henry-Sullivan Schein and Crest that aims to improve the oral health of large numbers of needy children and highlight for policy makers the ongoing challenges that low-income and disabled children face in accessing dental care.

The School of Dental and Oral Surgery oversees an extensive community-based service program for residents in the surrounding community -- a federally designated medical and dental manpower shortage area. Outreach into the community includes dental programs in seven area public schools, a dental van, and three off-site community-based dental clinics, providing state of the art care to an underserved population as well as a rich learning environment for students at the School.

Published: Feb 06, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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