Broadening outreach brightens children's lives and smiles

June 11, 2008
DEXIS, Henry Schein Dental continue their commitment to the American Dental Association's Give Kids A Smile Program.

A healthy smile should be possible for every child.

Unfortunately, the latest census confirms that eight million children are without health-care coverage. Created in response to this health dilemma, Give Kids A Smile consistently provides dental education and treatment to low-income children who have no access to care.

Each year, the ADA has reported enormous increases in the number of children who receive care in the GKAS events held across the nation during National Children's Dental Health Month. DEXIS and Henry Schein Dental, founding corporate sponsors, are proud to assist in boosting the numbers of children who gain care during these events.

The GKAS program started in 2002 when a handful of dedicated volunteers at a single location in St. Louis treated 400 children. Since its inception, the ADA reports that the program has grown to encompass an impressive total of more than 4.2 million children who have received treatment under the GKAS project.

The number of volunteers and sites has grown as well. For 2008, the reported number of children treated is estimated at 475,973, with 46,847 volunteers manning 1884 physical sites.

The ADA recognizes that besides the devoted volunteers, the success of the GKAS program depends on the generous support of corporate co-sponsors, who provided more than $4 million in products and services.

Henry Schein Dental, along with 50 of its supplier partners, furnishes event sites with $1 million in product donations. DEXIS provides the use of 50 digital X-ray systems and personnel to assist in taking radiographs for Give Kids A Smile events at dental schools. DEXIS has targeted dental schools to encourage the use of these larger facilities with the capability to treat more children.

"Early on, DEXIS made a commitment to help the underserved population," stated Candy Ross, director of clinical affairs for DEXIS. "The GKAS program gave us an opportunity to provide a service to the community, as well as educate many dental professionals about how digital radiography can improve delivery of patient care. DEXIS is very proud to be a part of this extremely important initiative."

In 2000, the US Surgeon General issued a comprehensive report along with a clear call to action aimed at parents, health professionals, and policymakers to address the health issues including the "silent epidemic" of dental disease. The report cited that dental decay, which occurs at five times the rate of asthma, adversely affects children's health, causing millions of children to suffer with conditions that affect basic functions such as eating, speech, and ability to concentrate. For many children, treatment at GKAS events and similar programs is their only access to dental care.

Dr. Laila Hishaw, Tucson pediatric dentist, co-coordinates the GKAS event held at Pima Community College, which utilizes the school's dental hygiene and assistant program's clinical facility.

She explained, "Access to health care remains a crisis in the U.S. Children should not have to live with pain. For those whose only access to treatment is here, we need to see as many as we can, and DEXIS helps quickly and accurately diagnose more children."

For more information on the GKAS program, including the latest statistics and information on its background and sponsors, visit ADA.

Learn more about DEXIS including the advantages of digital radiography, the company's latest news, clinical articles, and specifics on the DEXIS sensor and software, at DEXIS.

To read more about DEXIS, go to DEXIS.

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