MINNEAPOLIS, March 18 A record number of needy children received comprehensive free dental care from Minnesota volunteer dentists and their staffs during the first quarter of 2010. The free care was provided to 6,069 children by a record number of volunteers during the Minnesota Dental Association's Give Kids a Smile outreach.
The free care was provided in February when 538 dentists across the state opened their offices and clinics to provide completely free dental care to children whose families cannot otherwise afford the care. Over 3,000 dental professionals volunteered their time and many offices will continue to see the children for free for needed follow-up care.
"Minnesota dentists are proud to help close the gap for thousands of low income children who are not getting the dental care they need and deserve with all the government budget cuts," said Dr. Robert Templeton, president of the Minnesota Dental Association. "But the public needs to know that charity care is no solution." Give Kids a Smile is sponsored by the Minnesota Dental Association.
This year marks the 8th consecutive year the Minnesota Dental Association has sponsored Give Kids a Smile. Since its inception, the program has served 38,000 young children and the donated services top $11 million dollars in value. On average, each dentist in Minnesota donates $18,000 of care annually to their communities through a variety of charity care for children, seniors, the disabled and families facing economic hardships.
Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of childhood in the United States according to the federal statistics. All children are urged to see a dentist for their first exam within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or within the first year of life.
The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing 81% of practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.
Editor note: See our video which shows the impact of the latest budget cuts through the eyes of patients. Go to : www.mndental.org
SOURCE Minnesota Dental Association