A New Smile: During Tough Economic Conditions Hundreds of Kentucky Children Receive Free Dental Care

Friday, February 6th, local dentists will give over 350 children a new smile!

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Dr. Karen Nation volunteers as part of Smile Kentucky! The program provides over $130,000 of free dentistry to Kentucky children.

Ferndale, WA (Vocus) February 4, 2009

Friday, February 6th, local dentists will give over 350 children a new smile! The opportunity comes at a perfect time for many families. It's the seventh year for Smile Kentucky!, a community partnership that addresses the most common unmet health need in the nation, tooth decay. This year, many of the participating schools saw a sharp increase in the number of families accepting the free treatment. School coordinators point to the current economic conditions as the primary reason. Treatment that would have been put on hold can now occur with Smile Kentucky!

The treatment takes place at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, 501 South Preston Street between 8 am and 2 pm on Friday, February 6th. The children receiving care come from 29 schools in Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Spencer and Trimble Counties. Their dental needs were discovered during free screenings at school. Many of the children have never visited a dentist; others have problems that have gone untreated. Smile Kentucky! will provide over $130,000 of dental services.

Smile Kentucky! is truly a community effort. Over 100 licensed dentists and hygienists provide the treatment. The University of Louisville School of Dentistry donates the use of its school and staff. Other community groups offer funding and support. For example, Colgate provides toothbrushes, Louisville Water Company coordinates educational activities, the Louisville Dental Society recruits volunteers, and Sullivan-Schein Dental provides treatment supplies.

February 6 is a national treatment day coordinated by the American Dental Association. Louisville's program is unique because of the scope and educational component. The American Dental Association calls Smile Kentucky! a model for community partnerships. Since 2003 Smile Kentucky! has provided treatment to over 1,700 children, free dental screenings to over 29,000 children and education programs to 90,000 students.

February 6 Media Information for Smile Kentucky!
Parking is available along Preston Street. Enter the Dental School through the main entrance.
Check in at the volunteer desk. Best time to arrive is between 9 and Noon.

For more information regarding Smile Kentucky! visit http://www.smilekentucky.com or contact Kelley Dearing Smith, Louisville Water Company at 502-569-3600 x2436, cell 502-533-5052 or ksmith(at)lwcky(dot)com.

Program Impact

Treatment Day, February 6

  • Over 350 children with no dental insurance or government assistance receive free dental treatment
  • 3,600 children at 29 schools initially screened
  • On average, 33% of children screened in Smile Kentucky! have obvious tooth decay
  • Value of the treatment and follow-up care will exceed $100,000
  • To make treatment day possible it takes: 160 dental chairs; 100 dentists, hygienists, U of L faculty, staff and students; 200 volunteers for transportation, food, care, educational activities, x-rays and paperwork

Participating Schools

Bullitt: Lebanon Junction, Mt. Washington, Old Mill and Pleasant Grove

Jefferson County: Atkinson, Auburndale, Bates, Blake, Cochran, Fairdale, Greathouse, Indian Trail, Jeffersontown, Klondike, Shawnee Newcomers' Academy, Watterson and Wilt

Henry County: Campbellsburg, Eastern, New Castle and Eminence Independent

Oldham County: Crestwood, Kenwood and LaGrange

Spencer County: Spencer County Elementary, Spencer County Middle and Taylorsville Elementary

Trimble County: Bedford and Milton Elementary

Smile Kentucky! is made possible by the following: American Dental Association, Bullitt County Health Department, Delta Dental of Kentucky, Doral Dental Services of KY, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures, Colgate-Palmolive, Louisville Dental Society, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness, Louisville Water Company, NorthWest Area Health Education Center, Prospect-Goshen Rotary Club, Sullivan-Schein Dental, TARC, Texas Roadhouse, U of L School of Dentistry

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