By Harsh Godhani
The Middlesex County College Dental Hygiene department hosted its 14th annual National Children’s Dental Access Day on Feb. 13, from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in L’hommedieu Hall room 164.
Michelle Roman, chairperson of Dental Hygiene department, said the program was first introduced to The College in 2005.
The Give Kids A Smile Program is a national event first started by the American Dental Association in 2003.
According to the ADA foundation website, more than 6 million underserved children receive free oral health care.
Roman said any child is welcomed as long as they fit the criteria of the ADA foundation: children who are uninsured and are unable to afford any dental healthcare.
Roman said this year 14 children came to MCC for free dental care and their goal for 2020 is increase that number to 25 or more.
“We had 29 students who had the option of volunteering to help with the program instead of having class on Wednesday. They learn by getting first-hand experience by watching dental work being done by dentists do fillings, extractions, pulpotomies.
They also get to watch the hygienists and most of them are alumni of the Middlesex County College dental hygiene program. They come in and they volunteer their time. So they get to watch a hygienist in action, somebody who actually graduated from the program and is now out in private practice working or in clinical practice,” she said.
Roman said all 29 students volunteered for the event.
About 90 percent of their supplies were donated by the American Dental Association, and dentists and Hygienists brought their own restorative material for fillings, she said.
“We love giving back to the community. We’re trying to do more community services where we can provide dental care to other populations, not just children in our area. Maybe adults who are unable to afford dental care, or veterans, or elderly,” said Roman.
Roman said The College’s Dental Hygiene department advertises the events by registering with the New Jersey Dental Association and fliers passed to community centers in local areas.
For more information on the program visit www.middlesexcc.edu/dental-hygiene/.