Dental hygiene students and faculty from Pennsylvania College of Technology teamed with volunteer dental hygienists and dentists to provide free oral screenings, sealants, fluoride treatments and education for 65 children as part of the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association’s statewide Sealant Saturday program on Feb. 7.
This year’s local program, held in Penn College’s dental hygiene clinic, resulted in 332 free dental sealants being placed on the children, ages 7 to 15, during the four-hour community dental-health event. The current cost of a dental sealant in central Pennsylvania is approximately $30. All children also received an examination from a licensed dentist and, thanks to a donation of fluoride varnish from Premier Dental, a fluoride treatment.
The Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition provided funding to help support this year’s program. Other supporters include the North Central Dental Hygienists’ Association, Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association and Dentsply.
In addition to sealants and dental exams, all of the children received education on topics such as brushing, flossing, nutrition, dental disease, tobacco use, fluoride and sealants.
The event was staffed by second-year dental hygiene students, dental hygiene faculty, volunteer dental hygienists (including 16 alumni) and two dentists.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to seal the pits and grooves on the teeth. The sealant acts as a physical barrier to prevent oral bacteria from collecting and creating the acid environment that allows decay to develop.
For more information about the PDHA, visit online .