Center for Pediatric Dentistry Hosts “Give Families a Smile Day”

Saturday, February 27, near the end of National and King County Children’s Dental Health Month, the UW School of Dentistry’s Center for Pediatric Dentistry was the site of a lively event providing vital oral health care services to both children and their families. Over 50 children and 10 parents received preventive and restorative care.

It was a true team effort, involving 14 dental students, 5 faculty members, 14 dental assistants, 7 pediatric dental residents, 6 support staff and several volunteers.

The event was made possible through sponsorships from Johnson & Johnson and Amerigroup. “We know that some of the significant barriers for at-risk children getting to a dentist are schedule, the ability of parents/guardians to take time off work during the week, the ability to bring all children in the family at one time, and transportation,” said Dr. Rebecca Slayton. “Working with Amerigroup, the amazing staff of Leschi Elementary School, and a team from Medical Teams International, which supported the event by bringing their mobile dental unit to provide care for the parents at no charge, we were able to deliver vitally needed services.”

Dental caries is known to be the most common chronic childhood disease, affecting a child’s ability to concentrate, school attendance and nutrition. The UW Center for Pediatric Dentistry is the region’s largest, most comprehensive pediatric dental clinic. The facility and staff are nationally known for their ability to provide treatment across the spectrum, to healthy children, those with special needs such as autism and Down syndrome, and those with medically complex conditions.

Located in the Washington Dental Service Building at Magnuson Park, and partnering with Seattle Children’s, the clinic fills a critically needed role in the community, welcoming children enrolled in Medicaid/Apple Health and those with special needs who otherwise would not have access to care.

Staff and patients on Smile day