Children in need receive dental care thanks to volunteers, UNLV, Roseman, Dental Society

Children throughout the Las Vegas Valley received dental work today at no cost to their parents. The Southern Nevada Dental Society, UNLV School of Dental Medicine, Roseman University, and corporate sponsor teamed up to treat the kid’s dental needs, for free, at the annual Give Kids A Smile Day.

"5.5 million children have been served by this (nationwide) event with 137,000 dentists and 420,000 volunteers,” said Dr. Emily Ishkanian with the Southern Nevada Dental Society.

In its 15th year locally, organizers with Give Kids A Smile Day say most of their patients are enrolled in Medicaid but receive no dental services during the entire year. The event brings out more than 200 local volunteer dentists, hygienists, assistant and dental students to get dozens of southern Nevadan children the work they need.

“Not all children are able to receive care. So we know that if there are cavities that cause pain children can't eat well, sleep well or concentrate well,” said Dr. Wendy Woodall, UNLV School of Dental Medicine.

The benefits of a good cleaning are huge. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly one in four children, ages 2 to 11, have untreated cavities in their baby teeth. Untreated cavities can cause low self-esteem, lack of concentration, and poor overall health.

The Southern Nevada Dental Society has hosted Give Kids A Smile events since 2002. The American Dental Association (ADA) launched the Give Kids A Smile program nationally in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Each year, 350,000 to 400,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events held across the country.

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