Saturday Morning Clinic

  • Johnson, Jeffrey (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Because the state has nearly four times as many children (ages 0 to 17 years) living below the poverty line as the national average,] Kentucky children miss nearly 30,000 school days each year because of dental-related problems2 While the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be evaluated by a dentist by age I year, 3 only 40% of preschool children in Kentucky have ever been evaluated by a dentist. In fact, nearly ]0% of elementary school students have only visited a dentist's office for emergency related problems (i.e. pain and/or infection). The 200] Kentucky Children's Oral Health Survey documented that dental disease is increasing among Kentucky's children with some of the worst problems being common among the youngest children. In the statewide survey, researchers found that as compared to the national average of 18 percent, nearly 50 percent of Kentucky's children (ages 2 to 4 years) had untreated tooth decay' The problem is compounded by the paucity of available services due to the relatively low number of dental professionals who actively participate in the state's Medicaid and K-Chip dental programs. ASDA's Saturday Morning Clinic service program is held one Saturday each month during the fall and spring semesters at the UK College of Dentistry. Also, in observance of 'Children's Dental Health Month' and 'Give Kids a Smile!, 'an additional clinic is scheduled in February for a total of 7 clinics per year. Children and their caregivers from Central and Appalachian Kentucky often arrive at thc clinic hours before the first patient is seen just to secure a space. Currently, over 250 children per year are treated in the service program The target audience is children ages 12 years and younger. ASDA volunteers provide all aspects of dental care (i.e. restorative, pulpal therapy, pediatric oral surgery, etc.) with an emphasis on improved home care and prevention. The Saturday Morning Clinic service program also targets underrepresented populations, particularly Kentucky's rapidly growing population of children from Mexico and Central/South America. Currently, the Associated Press ranks Kentucky as one of the ten states in the nation experiencing the highest influx of Spanish-speaking individuals5 It has been shown that the dental health of immigrant children is significantly poorer than that of nonimmigrant children.6 Furthermore, research has suggested that immigrant children have more unsatisfactory dietary habits and a higher frequency of carious and filled teeth. 7 In an effort to provide culturally competent care and meet the special needs associated with these children and their families, the program provides volunteer student and staff translators who serve as patient/caregiver advocates, educators, and liaisons. The ASDA Saturday Morning Clinic service program strives to create a nurturing, positive, and caring environment.
Effective start/end date1/3/054/30/05


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