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Volunteers Serve 55 Children During Sealant Saturday

Pennsylvania College of Technology students Michelle J. Chea, of Dauphin, left, and Maria J. Mielnik, of Hollidaysburg, provide preventive dental services to a  child.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 55 children as part of the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association’s statewide Sealant Saturday program on Feb. 13.

A child tries on a pair of giant teeth in the education room set up by dental hygiene students.At the four-hour event, held in Penn College’s dental hygiene clinic, the children ages 7 to 15 received a fluoride varnish treatment, and 320 sealants were placed. All children also received an examination from a licensed dentist.

Program supporters include the North Central Dental Hygienists’ Association, the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association, Dentsply and Premier Dental.

Sisters participate in an interactive lesson about keeping teeth healthy.In addition to sealants and dental exams, Penn College dental hygiene students gave the children interactive education on topics such as brushing, flossing, fluoride, sealants, nutrition, dental disease and the harmful effects of tobacco use.

The event was staffed by second-year dental hygiene students, dental hygiene faculty, volunteer dental hygienists (including 10 alumni) and two dentists.

Several alumni (joined by clinic dentist Tom Klena, center) returned to campus to volunteer for Sealant Saturday. (Photo by Barbara K. Emert-Baldwin, dental hygiene instructor)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. The current cost of a dental sealant in central Pennsylvania is approximately $30.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Health Sciences at Penn College, visit online or call 570-327-4519.

For general information about the college, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Unless otherwise noted, photos by Shawn A. Kiser, director of dental hygiene