The following information was provided by Give Kids A Smile!®
One-day event held in Newark, Scotch Plains, Northfield, Somerdale, and Galloway locations allows dental professionals to treat underserved children, ages 12 and under, at no cost to their families.
Cleanings, fillings, fluoride and sealant treatments and basic oral health education will be provided to hundreds of children ages 12 and under at several New Jersey sites by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) on Friday, Feb. 1, during Give Kids A Smile!®(GKAS) National Dental Access Day.
It is the 11th year that UMDNJ has participated in GKAS, a national initiative held each February by the American Dental Association to focus attention on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among disadvantaged children. GKAS provides free oral health education, screening and treatment services to children from low-income families across the country that, for a variety of reasons, may not have regular access to such services. The event is an annual centerpiece to National Children’s Dental Health Month. Last year, more than 4,600 children across New Jersey were given a wide range of dental services by dentists, hygienists and dental assistants. Children will also be able to enjoy free balloon art, games and a magic act, and have their faces painted.
GKAS will be held at the following UMDNJ locations:
- UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School in Newark, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.;
- University Dental Center at Galloway, 9 a.m.–noon
- University John H. Cronin Dental Center at Northfield, 9 a.m.–noon
- University Dental Center at Somerdale Square in Somerdale, 9 a.m.–noon
- UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions in Scotch Plains, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., and 2 p.m.–5 p.m.
Scotch Plains is still taking reservations, call 908-889-2410.
UMDNJ’s students and faculty have volunteered for GKAS each year since the initiative’s inception in 2003. In 2012 alone, the University’s sites saw a total of more than 400 children. UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School in Newark is one of the two largest sites in the nation. Working with public elementary schools, charter schools and Head Start providers, UMDNJ has provided free dental services to more than 7,500 children during the past 11 years.
Last year, New Jersey’s program was the second-largest in the country, with 112 locations throughout its 21 counties. A total of 3,099 dentists, auxiliary personnel, students and staff members helped with the 4,602 children that were seen. More than 724 cavities were filled and 863 emergency or restorative procedures were performed. And for the first time the New Jersey program topped the $1 million mark in a single year, providing $1,210,464-worth of services or an average of $263 per child.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is New Jersey’s only health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending three of the state’s medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey’s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.