Providing Preventative Dental Care to Students

A terrible toothache is virtually impossible to ignore. For millions of children across the nation, the consequences of untreated tooth decay extend far beyond momentary pain to include potentially devastating effects on their long-term learning and opportunity.
Now, Drop In Dental is offering the promise of addressing this issue and relieving the lifelong burden it places on young children with their mobile dental RV that can have a presence in schools to provide preventative dental care.

Dental Health Affects Learning and Opportunity

Persistent pain, along with related trouble eating and sleeping, makes oral health one of the leading causes of chronic school absenteeism among young students. A full 20 percent of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Among school-age children, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease, five times more prevalent than asthma. Children between 5 and 17 years miss nearly two million school days in a single year nationwide due to dental health-related problems.

This, in turn, can have a significant impact on students’ lifelong opportunity. For example, research shows that children who are chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to be reading at grade level by the third grade; and students who are not reading at grade level by the third grade, in turn, are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

The tremendous scale of these consequences is especially poignant because dental health problems are so often preventable and easily treatable with access to primary dental care. Barriers related to cost, transportation, language and other logistics, however, have put this basic care out of reach for millions of U.S. children.

Drop In Dental Brings Care to the Community

Now, a new program is removing these barriers with powerful results for children’s health and practical savings for the health care system.

By leveraging familiar technology and a practical, cost-effective model in Drop In Dental’s mobile dental RV innovative care providers are bringing high-quality dental services to children in the school setting.

The result: Students get the care they need to stay in class and learn. Emergency room visits and complex, costly treatments (often paid for by Medicaid or related state-run programs) are replaced by effective and low-cost preventive care.

Drop In Dental utilizes the technology widely used in dentists’ offices, such as X-ray machines, with the added advantage that this technology has become more precise and more portable than ever and is therefore now practical in community settings such as schools.

Specially trained dental health professionals — most often dental hygienists who have taken part in additional professional development — are deployed to schools to provide preventive care and basic. We take X-rays, provide professional cleaning, apply sealants and fluoride treatment, and also apply interim therapeutic restorations, a technique that alleviates the pain and limits the spread of a cavity until the student can see a dentist. They also provide education on oral hygiene and nutrition as it relates to oral health. These dental professionals work closely with supervising dentists to identify more complex problems and develop ongoing treatment plans.
stay in school

Improved Dental Health = Fewer Missed School Days

By making preventive care and basic treatment accessible in schools, Drop-In Medical removes one of the most significant barriers children face to good attendance and academic success. The consequences are profound for children’s education and for their lifetime health.
Drop-In Medical
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