Dozens of needy kids in western Nebraska will get free dental care this Friday and Saturday through the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s annual Children’s Panhandle Dental Day.
Dr. David Brown, executive associate dean at the UNMC College of Dentistry, says they’ll be setting up shop in Alliance, Gordon and Sidney.
“We’ll be having about 40 volunteers, maybe even a few more depending on how many volunteers are from the Panhandle, but about 40 people from the dental college will be traveling to the Panhandle,” Dr. Brown says. “I’m expecting to see about 225 children through the weekend.”
All of the children are being pre-screened for this event by local dentists, many with X-rays.
“We will do a screening if it’s not been done,” Dr. Brown says. “We will also do cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants on prescribed teeth. We do restorations, both amalgam and composite that’s tooth-colored. We do extractions and we occasionally do root canals.”
Most of the children range in age from six to 16 and many come back year after year for the free service.
“Among new children in the area, there’s usually a fairly high need but among children who have been in the area for several years, their actual teeth needs have gone down, representing the fact they have been looking after their teeth and have been getting some regular care,” Brown says. “So, we’ve been accomplishing what we set out to do.”
The event runs from 8 AM to 5 PM on Friday and from 8 AM to noon on Saturday.
UNMC has hosted the Children’s Panhandle Dental Day annually for about 11 years and a similar event has been held in Lincoln every year since 2001.