Broadalbin-Perth Elementary School has partnered with Hudson Headwaters Health Network to provide school-based access to dental services and education for children in the district.
A total of 121 students were served during the first clinic, which was held during a nine-day period in March.
B-P RN Lori Nellis was a driving force in bringing the clinic to fruition. Nellis noted that New York state does not require regular dental checkups.
“Many people don’t have the time to bring their kids to the dentist or insurance to cover the visit and with regular checkups not required by New York State this gives an opportunity for those students to be seen.” Nellis said.
Families are not charged for services and are not required to have dental insurance. However, Hudson Headwaters takes care of billing for those families who do have dental insurance.
Students received a dental screening, cleaning, sealants, fluoride treatment and if needed, a referral to a local participating dentist for additional treatment including filling cavities and other restorative work.
Nellis hopes that the clinic will be held at least once a year to help alleviate the negative stigma that comes with going to the dentist as well as to make the visit a healthy and educational experience.
“Preventative care is crucial to long-term dental health” Nellis said. “Bringing the service into our schools can help make kids more comfortable with visiting the dentist, and they learn proper dental care in the process.”