A Bridge to The Underserved
Population For Over 40 Years

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Patient Education

Questions Asked

(by school personnel ie. school nurses and school administrators)

Q: Why are school-based dental programs recommended?
A: More than 52 million school hours are lost each year due to dental problems or missing school because of dental treatment. Although preventable, tooth decay is a chronic disease affecting all age groups. In fact, it is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Untreated tooth decay is associated with difficulty in eating, communicating and with lower self-esteem. Dental disease affects a child's ability to concentrate in school and their ability to learn. School-based dental programs give effective tooth decay prevention to all children of all cultures and backgrounds reducing oral health disparities.

 

Q: What are the dental services that are offered?
A: The school-based dental program provides comprehensive care including follow-up care. Typical services provided are fillings, sealants, exam, cleanings, fluoride treatments, digital x-rays and others.

 

Q: Which schools are invited to participate?
A: Schools that have a high % of students in the free-reduced lunch program as that is a key indicator of need.

 

Q: What is expected of the school?
A: The main task is distributing and collecting consent forms.

 

Q: What type of workspace is needed for the school-based dental program?
A: Virtually any space that has an electrical outlet and is about 8’ by 10’ is sufficient.  A sink does not have to be located in the room.

 

Q: Is there a cost to the school?
A: There is no cost to the school. The school-based program is funded primarily through Medicaid reimbursement, grants and sponsorships so care is more easily obtained by low-income families, including the uninsured.

 

Q. Which children may participate in the school-based dental program?
A: Any child at the school that does not already have a dentist.

 

Q. If the child already has a dentist, can he/she still participate in the program?
A: Children who already have a dentist should continue scheduling regular appointments with their dentist. The school-based dental program is for children who do not have a dentist or do not have access to a dentist.

 

Q: Is the school-based dental program considered a dental home?
A: Yes, as it is comprehensive dental care that is available to a patient on a regular and on-going basis including the administration of specialist referrals and affording the parent a culturally sensitive point-of-contact to speak with about their child's oral health whether the question be clinical or administrative in nature.


 

Questions Asked

(by parents and guardians)

 

Q. Is my child eligible to participate in the school-based dental program?
A: Any child at the school who does not already have a dentist can participate in the school-based dental program.

 

Q. If my child already has a dentist, can he/she still participate in the program?
A: The school-based dental program is for children who do not have a dentist or do not have access to a dentist. Children who already have a dentist should continue scheduling regular appointments with their dentist.

 

Q. Can I be with my child during the visit?
A: Although it is not required, we can accommodate parents who wish to be present at the child’s dental visit.  This will need to be coordinated through the school nurse’s office and with our dentist.

 

Q: What if my child needs additional dental treatment that cannot be completed at school?
A: Your child will receive a referral listing of local offices where you can schedule dental treatment. Our office is available to assist you with that referral.

 

Q: Will my insurance be billed if I have dental insurance?
A: Yes, we bill most major dental insurances. It is helpful to us if you fill out the insurance portion of the consent in its entirety.

 

Q: What if my child says "No" or is uncomfortable when the parent is not there?
A: If a child cries or says “no” or is visibly uncomfortable with treatment, the dental visit will be stopped and you will get a letter home telling you why we stopped and a referral listing local offices where you can take your child for dental treatment.

 

Q: Do your dentists have experience working with children with special health care needs or who might have behavior issues
A: All of our dentists have experience working with patients with special needs. We will do our best to provide dental treatment for your child in the school-based setting.  However, the dentist may refer your child to a specialty dentist if they feel that is in the best interest of the patient.

 

Q: Is the school-based dental program considered a dental home?
A: Yes, as it is comprehensive dental care that is available to a patient on a regular and on-going basis including the administration of specialist referrals and affording the parent a culturally sensitive point-of-contact to speak with about their child's oral health whether the question be clinical or administrative in nature.


 

Questions Asked

(about dental services)

 

Q: What are dental sealants?
A: Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the top or biting surface of molar (back) teeth. Sealants block food and bacteria from causing tooth decay. Sealants are almost 100% effective if they stay on the tooth surface. According to the CDC, if 50% of children at high-risk participated in school sealant programs, over half of their tooth decay would be prevented and money would be saved on their treatment costs.

 

Q. What is fluoride varnish?
A: Fluoride varnish is a coating that is painted on teeth. It helps to prevent new cavities. It can also help stop cavities that have already started.

 

Q. Why do we recommend putting fluoride varnish on children's teeth?
A: Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases seen in children. It can also be prevented. Tooth decay (cavities) can cause pain and keep children from being able to eat, speak, sleep, and learn properly.

 

 Q. Is fluoride varnish safe?
A: Yes, fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride treatment and it is safe even for children drinking fluoridated water and/or taking fluoride supplements. Fluoride varnish can be used on infants from the time they have their first tooth. Fluoride varnish provides topical fluoride, and it is not swallowed by the child. However, in rare cases, some children with colophonium and pine nut allergies have experienced adverse reactions to fluoride varnish.

 

Q. How does fluoride varnish work?
A: Fluoride varnish is sticky so it stays on the teeth longer than other kinds of fluoride treatments. It makes the outside of the teeth harder and helps to prevent decay. Because it slowly soaks into the teeth, varnish is a good way for the tooth to take-in fluoride. Fluoride varnish has been found to reduce decay on tooth surfaces by 50% to 70%.

 

Q. Are baby (primary) teeth important?
A: Yes, the baby (primary) teeth allow children to chew food, help in speech development, guide the permanent (adult) teeth into place and add to your baby's good health. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that parents take children to a dentist no later than their first birthday and then at intervals recommended by their dentist.