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 ADVISORY

Not for publication

Feb. 20, 2003 -- No. 108

Local children to receive free dental care at UNC clinics

Friday (Feb. 21), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
412 Brauer Hall (Advanced General Dentistry Clinic)
UNC campus

Dental students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry will provide examinations, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants for children from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Durham and Orange Counties Inc. program. The students will work under the supervision of the schoolís general practice residency dentists in the GPR clinic.

The UNC School of Dentistry initiative is part of the "Give Kids A Smile-National Childrenís Dental Access Day," believed to be the largest dental checkup in the country. The goal of the "Give Kids a Smile" initiative is to improve the oral health of large numbers of needy children and also highlight the access-to-care issue for policymakers.

A 2000 U.S. Surgeon Generalís report titled "Oral Health in America" has stated that dental decay is the most common disease affecting U.S. children, occurring at five times the rate of asthma and seven times that of hay fever. Millions of children suffer from untreated, easily preventable oral diseases that affect overall health, including speech, eating patterns and ability to concentrate in school, the American Dental Association has reported. About 23 million children in the United States do not have dental insurance.

Members of the media who would like to interview UNC School of Dentistry faculty members on the issue of dental care for children should contact Sharon K. Grayden at (919) 966-2730.

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School of Dentistry contact: Sharon K. Grayden, (919) 966-2730, sharon_grayden@dentistry.unc.edu