December 26, 2006
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
Phone: (973) 972-3000
UMDNJ Provides Free Dental Care for Children in February
- Early registration for free pediatric dental care begins in December -
NEWARK - Parents are encouraged to register their children now for free preventive dental services that will be offered during the annual one-day Give Kids a Smile! initiative at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey on Friday, February 2, 2007.
The UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School is the largest location statewide to offer these free pediatric dental services as part of the nationwide effort. The UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions is also a site for the 5th Annual Give Kids a Smile! initiative, which is part of a Children ’s Dental Health Month observance that was established by the American Dental Association. Five UMDNJ sites throughout the state will provide children with dental care, regardless of their social or economic status. Give Kids a Smile!, also referred to as the National Children’s Access Day, was designed to educate children on the lifelong benefits of proper oral hygiene and health care.
“The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist no later than their first birthday, yet only three out of five children have seen a dentist before kindergarten,” said Dr. Cecile Feldman, dean of the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School. “By then, statistics from a Healthy People 2000 oral health update indicate more than 50 percent of children between six and eight have tooth decay. As part of our effort to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of oral disease and increase the number of people receiving early intervention treatments, we are pleased to offer this essential initiative at New Jersey Dental School.”
Dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and dental students at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School will provide children who are ages 12 and under with dental examinations, teeth cleanings, extractions, and x-rays. Dental hygienists will teach children proper techniques for brushing and flossing their teeth.
Under the direction and coordination of the New Jersey Dental Association, many dental health professionals have volunteered their services to treat more than 7,500 children statewide. Last year, at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, more than 800 medically disadvantaged children were treated during the one-day Give Kids a Smile! initiative.
“We’re really proud of our program here in New Jersey,” said Dr. Cavan Brunsden, a pediatric dentist and the Give Kids a Smile! program’s statewide chairman. “We started in 2003 with only six sites and 300 children, and in 2007 we’ll see more than 3,500 children at more than 80 sites across the state. Our volunteers put their hearts and souls into seeing that these children get the dental care they need but can’t otherwise afford or access.”
Funding for the Give Kids a Smile! initiative at UMDNJ will be provided by a grant from the American Dental Association, Harris Fund. For more information about registration call Debra Goldsmith, director of the Give Kids a Smile! initiative at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, at 973-972-4710 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMDNJ’s five sites are:
UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School
110 Bergen Street, Newark, N.J.
To register call: 973-972-4710 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions
1776 Raritan Rd., Scotch Plains, N.J.
To register call: 908-889-2460 Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University Dental Center at Galloway
4 East Jimmy Leeds Road, Suite 6, Galloway Township
To register call: 609-652-0501 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University John H. Cronin Dental Center at Northfield
235 Dolphin Avenue, Northfield
To register call: 609-645-5814 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University Dental Center at Somerdale Square
13 Somerdale Square, Somerdale
To register call: 856-566-6969 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
UMDNJ is the nation ’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.