New York State Dental Association Partners with Hudson Valley Community College to Bring Free Dental Services to the Capital Region
Event helps address access to dental care and the importance of good oral health
Troy, N.Y.—It was a day for smiles at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC). On Saturday, the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA), which represents more than 11,000 member dentists across the state, partnered with HVCC, Kare and the New York State Dental Foundation to provide free dental health screenings and services to the community.
Having seen previous success in the past with similar events, the Capital Region Community Dental Event is a way for NYSDA to reach communities that historically struggle to access critical dental care. On Saturday, more than 120 people registered to received dental screenings, emergent care, x-rays, treatment diagnosis, pain management guidance, extractions as needed, and more.
The goal of the Capital Region Community Dental Event was to increase access to dental care, educate patients on the importance of practicing good dental hygiene at home and provide important oral health education that can help to circumvent the need for costly emergency dental care.
“Unfortunately, access to dental care has been an ongoing challenge in underserved communities. Events like these provide opportunities for us to connect people with not only free immediate care, but options for them going forward,” said Greg Hill, executive director of NYSDA. “In addition to providing important dental services, it was equally important that we connected patients to ‘dental homes’ for preventative, routine dental care.”
This is where the the Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) is the critical link to making this model successful. The CDHC will follow up with patients who attended the event to ensure that they are connected to a new dental home and are following their care plan.
This event is a great example of how CDHCs, together with NYSDA dentists, could be the missing link in bringing oral healthcare to our most vulnerable populations.
Dental hygienists and assisting students from HVCC helped screen patients at the event, and those who needed emergent care were referred to one of the two Kare Mobile dental vans on site with volunteer NYSDA dentists.
The event serves as an example of how NYSDA dentists and community partners work together to bring oral healthcare to our most vulnerable populations. With state and private funding, the New York State Dental Foundation is hoping to replicate this model and offer more Community Dental Events across New York State.
About the New York State Dental Association:
The New York State Dental Association, founded in 1868, is one of the largest state constituents of the American Dental Association and represents more than 60 percent of dentists practicing in New York State. Founded in 1859, the American Dental Association is the oldest and largest national dental society in the world and serves as the leading source of oral health-related information for dentists and their patients.