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Institute for Rural Health to continue Allen dental program

WKU’s Institute for Rural Health has received an $8,000 grant to continue a dental services partnership with the Allen County Health Department.

The health department secured the funds through the Kentucky Department of Public Health. They will be used to support the Mobile Dental Unit, which will continue to provide preventative dental services primarily to second and seventh graders in Allen County in 2013-14.

“The funds will be used to purchase dental supplies for the MDU as well as toothbrushes, toothpaste and other home hygiene products for the children treated on the MDU,” said Bonny Petty, registered dental hygienist and principal investigator for the project.

Since the partnership began in 2004, the IRH has provided dental exams, sealants, dental referrals and oral health education to more than 2,000 children, she said.

“The IRH has accomplished this by engaging IRH staff and students from the WKU’s Dental Hygiene program,” Petty said. “This project gives the WKU students an opportunity to observe the unmet oral health needs in the community while giving them an opportunity to meet those needs.”

During the 2012-2013 school year, 87 dental exams were provided to the students at Allen County Primary Center and James Bazzell Middle School. Additionally, 182 dental sealants were placed and 142 cavities were detected. Referral letters were sent to the parent or legal guardian for all children who participated in the services offered.

Contact: Bonny Petty, (270) 745-8846.

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