Mainline Health Systems, Inc. | Star City School District Dental Clinic
A dental clinic? At a high school?
Among the very first patients was a 9th-grader “who would barely look at me,” says Dr. Terri Eubanks, DDS, the dentist who together with a dental assistant runs the clinic one day a week. The youth was deeply self-conscious of his badly decayed front teeth.
Dr. Eubanks was able to save them and restore his smile just in time. She explains that he would have needed root canals and crowns or even extractions in another six months..
“That’s why we have the clinic,” she says. “His parents had never taken him to the dentist.”
Sadly, her patient is not the exception. Many of the Star City students have never had any dental care visits, Dr. Eubanks notes.
Reasons are plenty: The parents
That’s why a dental clinic situated on school grounds looks like the perfect solution. It provides dental treatment services in the school, during school hours, to students and staff who have been referred by a local dental hygienist. The students must bring a consent form signed by their parents, who will receive a post-treatment report and follow-up instructions.
And then there is the “cool” factor.
“Once the students start saying, ‘I went to the dentist to get my tooth fixed, and it wasn’t bad,’ the other kids will want to go, too, and dental care will become more socially acceptable,” Dr. Eubanks says
Cool, indeed. And the right approach to create healthy smiles that last a lifetime. Mainline Health Systems, Inc., a nonprofit health consortium in southeast Arkansas, operates and finances the clinic with additional funding from a Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation #communitygrant.
We love this innovative project! Does your organization test novel ideas to improve the oral health of Arkansans? Check out our funding opportunities here.