JANUARY 28, 2015;
New Smile Savers Dental Program for the Local Schools;
Lawrence County Health Department is proud to announce the implementation of the Smile Savers Dental Hygiene Program.
The program is funded through a grant from the Kentucky Department for Public Health that aims to increase access and improve oral health standards in communities across the state. Smile Savers serves both Lawrence and Martin counties and will provide preventive dental hygiene services for students in grades K-8.
The funding allows for a dental hygienist and assistant; portable dental equipment; dental supplies; a transport vehicle and transportation costs.
“The lack of access to adequate dental care is a serious problem across the nation, but it’s particularly bad in Kentucky,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Hundreds of thousands of children in this state don’t see a dentist regularly and many not at all. The vast majority of both childhood and adult dental problems could be avoided through routine dental care and other preventive efforts – which is exactly what this program provides. This is a great step forward.”
The Smile Savers Team includes Rhonda Collins, Public Health Registered Dental Hygienist and Jessie Wellman, Certified Dental Assistant. Rhonda graduated in 1998 from Prestonsburg Community College and has worked as a Dental Hygienist for 16 years. She is a Louisa native with two grown daughters and two granddaughters. Rhonda and her husband reside in Louisa.
Jessie is originally from Lexington and has lived in Louisa for 9 years. She graduated from The Lexington Academy of Dental Assisting in 2005. Jessie and her husband are the proud parents of four children who are active in the Lawrence County School System. “We are so very grateful to have this opportunity to provide dental services for our students and we are blessed to have two energetic, dedicated and caring professionals to lead our program,” said Debbie Miller, Lawrence County Health Department Director.
The Smile Savers Program will provide oral assessments, cleanings, fluoride varnish and sealant placement on permanent molars. The program also will provide counseling on nutrition, tobacco prevention and cessation and trauma prevention as well as oral health instruction. Services are provided at no cost to parents.
Good oral health is vital for success in school and all aspects of life. The goal of the Smile Savers Program is for each and every student to be comfortable and excited to visit a dentist on a regular basis for lifelong dental care. In addition to the Lawrence and Martin County School Systems, the team will be working in conjunction with local and area dentists to achieve this goal.
Rhonda and Jessie are very excited to work with the students, schools and the community… Saving Smiles, One Child at a Time!