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North Carolina Dental Professionals Team Up To Treat Needy Children

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 General News J E 4
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CARY, N.C., Feb. 1 Nearly 2,500 dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and other volunteers across North Carolina will be taking part in the fifth annual national "Give Kids a Smile!" day on February 5, 2010, in what promises to be among the largest events of its kind in the country.

Dentists and other dental professionals will volunteer their time at designated dental offices, dental clinics and community colleges across the state to treat low-income children for free. Children who receive care were prescreened by local organizations and selected on the basis of need.

In 2009, 22,107 needy children in North Carolina received more than $2.05 million in free dental care as part of the "Give Kids A Smile!" program. The American Dental Association has named the North Carolina program the best in the country.

"Give Kids a Smile!" is a nationwide dental education and awareness day, with free oral health care to as many children as possible during national "Children's Dental Health Month," sponsored by the American Dental Association and state dental societies.

In North Carolina, "Give Kids A Smile!" is sponsored by several organizations, including the N.C. Dental Society, N.C. Oral Health Section, N.C. Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, N.C. Dental Assistants Association, UNC School of Dentistry, N.C. Community Colleges, and local dental societies.

"'Give Kids A Smile!' is one of the most important dental outreach programs in North Carolina," said Dr. Daniel Cheek, president of the N.C. Dental Society. "It not only addresses the growing need to care for underserved children, it helps dramatize the worsening plight of young patients who have no way to see a dentist."

Treatment will range from routine dental screening to education to full dental care, including fillings and extractions. Organizers say the event, which has been months in the planning, has been enthusiastically embraced by dental caregivers across North Carolina.

For more information on "Give Kids a Smile!" contact the N.C. Dental Society at 1-800-662-8754 or visit www.ncdental.org or www.ada.org.

SOURCE North Carolina Dental Society
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