Oral Health Crisis
Maintaining good oral health is important for overall general health. In Connecticut, approximately 1 million people lack access to dental care, putting their oral health, and overall health, at risk. Nationally, for every adult without medical insurance, there are three without dental insurance. Unfortunately, for many individuals living on small incomes or without dental insurance, dental care is a luxury that they cannot afford.
Why Oral Health Matters
Children and adults with poor oral health not only face extreme pain, discomfort, and embarrassment, but are more likely to get sick and miss school or work. Periodontal disease is associated with increased risk of low-birth-weight, premature births, diabetes, heart and lung diseases, and stroke. The Surgeon General found that oral diseases and their treatment place a burden on society in the form of lost days and years of productive work.
Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic condition among children in the United States. More than one-quarter of US preschoolers (28%) have experienced visible cavities well before entering school.
Meeting the Need
As a way of addressing this significant health crisis, the Connecticut Mission of Mercy is opening a multi-day dental clinic to the public. Dental services will be provided to anyone (children, adults and the elderly) who is without dental insurance and in a low-income situation. Patients will be screened and treated based on their most urgent dental needs. Most importantly, all treatments and services are completely free. Services will be provided by volunteer dentists, UConn dental students, dental hygienists and dental assistants. All services will be on a first come, first serve basis.
You can learn more about the Mission of Mercy event as well as the importance of oral health by visiting the following links:
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April 14, 2009
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