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Beckley Dentists Ready to Put the Smile Back

Beckley Dentists Ready to Put the Smile Back

Dentists Ed Eckley and Brett have done their bit to put the smile back on the faces of kids last Friday. They offered free orthodontic and dental examinations to kids aged between 5 and 18. After a thorough examination, the kids were referred to dentists in Raleigh and also the nearby counties. They are supposed to get the required dental services there.

The program is part of the Give Kids a Smile movement that was initiated on a national basis. This program is to provide dental care to children who are underserved, says Catherine Curtis, who is the program coordinator at the Eckley Orthodontics situated at Beckley. The program was started by a presentation on oral hygiene after which the kids were thoroughly examined for problems in the teeth. The children are provided an initial screening after which they are referred to a dentist who would follow up with the treatment. This service is provided free of charge. Eckley Orthodontics is participating in this program for the second year running. Last year, around 65 children were attended and around half of that number received free dental care from dentists in the area. The dental services performed under this program were estimated to be around $30000 in value during the year 2008.

Dentists feel satisfied about the outcome of the program and say that it was needed in these areas. They also declared that they were pleasantly surprised by the eagerness of the dentists to become a part of this program.

The program was started off by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society together with a group of dentists. They set up a temporary clinic that offered full dental services to nearly 400 children within two days of February 2002. This statistic was put forward by the American Dental Association. The program became popular with dentists throughout the country and in 2008; around 480000 children were treated across the nation at 1888 clinics.

Curtis declared that though most of the dentists took part on the program in February, local dentists agreed to the program in March and April because of the weather conditions. Children belonging to the area were asked to come for the checkups between 8:30 am and 12 in the afternoon. It was made mandatory for an adult or parent to come to the clinic with the child. If the parent was not accompanying the child, he or she had to sign a note authorizing the clinic to carry on with the dental examination.

The dental examinations were conducted without any prior appointment and the children were served on a first come first served basis.

The program is mainly aimed at providing dental care for children who donít have a private dental plan to fall back on. They are also intended for kids not having covers under the state childrenís health insurance plan or Medicaid. If a child having these covers come to the camp, he is referred to a dentist who accepts that form of payment.


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