Dental school gives families something to smile about
: Jack Wright sits in the dentist chair waiting for his father, a dental student at the school, to clean his teeth. (Mylinda LeGrande/City Journals)
Gallery: Dental school gives families something to smile about [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
There are only two dental schools currently in Utah. One of these schools is Roseman University located at 10894 South, Riverfront Parkway in South Jordan.
On Feb. 3, the school offered an outreach program called “Give Kids a Smile,” which offered free education, checkups and cleanings for children. After screenings and education, participants were offered a $50 voucher to use for services at a later scheduled time.
“For our event, our main focus is preventive care,” said Khalid Sadaf, a third-year student at the school. “A lot of this care come with watching for caries (cavities) before they appear or happen. By giving these oral health care instructions, we hope to prevent dental decay. If parents know how to take care of dental problems, it helps eliminate the risk a bit.”
In addition to the cleanings and checkups, there were food trucks on site as well as the radio station La Grande radio, which helped to promote the event to at-risk and under-insured communities. American Dental Association sponsored for the free clinic by providing supplies.
Amara Doxey attended the event with her three children.
“We have a family member (Matt Nuttal), that goes to school here and is nearly graduated,” Doxey said. “We have been coming to him for dental work, and he told us about the cleanings. I’m just trying to be good about getting [my kids] in every six months. This is a good way to do it. It was really fun and well organized. The [kids] learned how to floss and brush and how to have better nutrition.”
Sadaf helped to plan, organize and run the event. She explained how the process worked. Before the clients get screened, they are assigned an escort, who will go around to different stations with them, she said.
“The first one is a (cavities) risk assessment,” Sadaf said. “We have a Spanish-speaking station to help those who don’t speak English. Next, the clients are directed to different rooms where they have different activities for them to participate in.”
After the activities, dental students performed the kids’ dental cleanings.
Cetin Akkaya was there with his two children, Mintin and Mina. He is from Turkey and has lived in the U.S. for five years. Currently, he works in a stem coordination job but does not have dental insurance.
“We found out about the event through my kids’ school, Belleview Elementary,” he said. “Before, when we lived in Arizona, we were benefiting from some campaigns for $30–$50 for cleanings, and then each six months we would go for screenings.”
Allison Wright, a transplant from Maine, came to Roseman University Dental School with her two children, Jack and Kyran. She wanted them to get free cleanings by their father, Kevin, who is a second-year student at the school.
“I want them to see that it is good for them to brush their teeth,” she said.
The family moved here from Maine when Kevin Wright got accepted to the school.
“I love coming here,” he said about the school. “I like the flexibility of the curriculum; they really make the teachers and information accessible and then give us time to learn it.”
When he was asked how his kids liked their dad cleaning their teeth, he said, “My 4-year-old, Jack, doesn’t like the dentist or having things put in his mouth. For Kyran, my 1-year-old, it is his first time doing this, so we will have to see how he does, but he likes me to brush his teeth [at home].”
Roseman University was founded in Henderson, Nevada, in 1999. Roseman University of Health Sciences is a nonprofit, private institution of higher learning. It is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
More than 2,500 Roseman graduates are caring for patients, conducting research and engaged in public health and policy in Nevada, Utah and across the country