Several dozen students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry will be in Chadron, Alliance, Sidney, and Gordon Friday and Saturday for the 10th annual Panhandle Dental Days.
The students, along with their faculty and local dentists and assistants, will be providing free dental care to uninsured children ages 4-19 years. Over 200 children were treated last year, and this year’s total will be in that same range.
Dental Days is coordinated through the Panhandle Public Health District, using area dentists, local health services, and schools to target children in advance who require dental care. PPHD nurse Becky Corman says it fills an urgent need.
“It really is a great service we’re able to provide. Some of these kids, it’s the only time during the year that they see a dentist, so it’s great that they’re able to receive that care.”
Many of the children were recommended for Dental Days by school officials or others, and all have been pre-screened by local dentists to determine what services they’ll receive this weekend.
The five Dental Day sites are Summit Dental and Life Smiles in Sidney, Dr. Maxwell/Dr. Wilcox offices in Alliance, CAPWN Dental Clinic in Chadron, Gordon Memorial Hospital. For any child needing dental surgery, Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance will be the site for those services.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry began Dental Day in 2001, but served only the Lincoln area. Now the program is offered not only in Lincoln and the Panhandle, but in other parts of the state as well.