NEWARK–The Dental Department at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) participated in the annual Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) National Children’s Dental Access Day held each February.
Children were screened at the event, part of a national initiative sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide free oral health education, screening and treatment services to children 12 and under from low-income families across the country. The focus is on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among disadvantaged children.
“Newark Beth Israel Medical Center brings a variety of medical screenings to the community to act as a catalyst for improved preventative care,” says John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. “The Dental Department screening reaches many children who otherwise might not receive assessment.”
The Dental Department at NBIMC is more than 75 years old and is the largest hospital-based dental program in New Jersey. Annually, there are 12,000 patient visits to the outpatient facility, including many families whose children receive general dentistry and preventative care.
Approximately 3,000 children each year received dental exams, including fluoride treatments and a cleaning, through an innovative NBIMC program at the Pediatric Clinic which combines the annual medical checkup with a dental exam. The children, ages six months and above, are referred to the Dental Clinic for further treatment if cavities or other problems are found.
“Many children receive a medical checkup but no annual dental visit,” says Russ Bergman, DMD, Vice Chairman for the Department of Dentistry at NBIMC. “This is an opportunity for families to make Newark Beth both their medical and dental home. Even for very young children, it is an opportunity to educate parents about cavity prevention through diet, such as avoiding sugary drinks or even milk when a baby is put to bed with a bottle.”
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