About

Objectives

  • Empower BOTW clients with oral health and oral hygiene knowledge that will allow them to take their health into their own hands
  • Treat active decay and improve oral hygiene, which will lead to lower incidence of dental caries, gum disease and oral pathologies
  • Establish a permanent and reliable resource to the community
  • Instill a commitment to public service in dental students

Methods

  • Volunteer dental students staff the clinic one evening a week, providing exams, cleanings, basic restorative work and oral health counseling
  • An educational team gives oral health and hygiene presentations to the GED courses and at the residential shelters associated with BOTW

Conclusions

In improving the oral health of these at-risk youth, we hope to set them on a path of wellbeing for their entire lifetime. As a consistent and reliable presence in the community, our social supports have reached a more personal level with the clients, decreasing the fear surrounding dentist visits and increasing the likelihood that dental care will continue to be a valued aspect of their lives in the future. Educational sessions have taught valuable and enduring health behaviors that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. The occupational portion of the educational sessions have allowed clients to realize that careers in the dental field are tangible options.