The San Juan College Dental Hygiene program and the local Dental Society are teaming up again to participate in the National “Give Kids a Smile” Day on Friday, February 7, 2014. This is the 12th year the College’s Dental Hygiene program has participated in the event.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., dental hygiene students and local dentists will be providing dental care, free of charge, to economically disadvantaged children, ages 5 to 12, from the community. All of the patients and their parents will be given oral hygiene education by the San Juan College dental hygiene students, who will also provide X-rays, cleanings and fluoride. Community dentists will provide oral examinations and dental treatment.
“Along with numerous community dentists, hygienists, students and faculty from the dental hygiene program, the public schools, the Farmington Boys and Girls Club, United Way, Subway and many others have generously joined in the effort to make this a true community event,” says Dr Julius Manz, SJC Dental Hygiene Program director.
More than 50 children are expected to be seen again this year. In the past, more than $40,000 worth of dental work has been performed in a single day. Children from Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield and Kirtland will receive services.
Services will be provided by a volunteer staff of dental hygiene students, San Juan College dental hygiene faculty, community dentists, hygienists and assistants. In addition to the dentists volunteering in the clinic, community orthodontists have volunteered to accept pro bono referrals from the Give Kids a Smile Day effort. The American Dental Association sponsors this event nationally on an annual basis, and the local Dental Society is sponsoring it locally.
Give Kids a Smile day in Farmington provides an opportunity for area dentists and College students to reach out to the children in the community. In addition to providing diagnostic services through examinations and radiographs, patients obtain continuing care by community dentists.
Appointments for the clinic are being made through the San Juan United Way (contact Linda Mickey at 326-1195) in conjunction with public school nurses and the Farmington Boys & Girls Club. No appointments are made at the clinic, and walk-ins will not be able to be seen.
The following organizations are participating:
- Farmington Municipal Schools – screening and referring children through the school nurses
- San Juan College Dental Hygiene Program – providing facilities, staff and students
- Farmington Boys & Girls Club – providing patients
- San Juan United Way – scheduling patients
- Subway – providing free lunch for volunteers
- Oral hygiene “goody bags” donated by the New Mexico Dental Association.
- New Mexico Dental Foundation, the Northwest District Dental Society and San Juan College Dental Hygiene – dental supplies.
For more information, contact the San Juan College Dental Hygiene program at 566-3126.