The school’s dental hygiene faculty, along with representatives from the school’s chapter of ENNEAD, recently held their first inservice for the Orange County School health nurses on dental health.
The event, titled the Orange County Oral Health Collaboration, hosted approximately 25 attendees, including representatives from the NC Oral Health Section and the Orange County Smart Smiles Program. The program was designed to begin collaboration between dentistry, dental hygiene and nursing in the county to help meet the dental needs of the school age children.
“Due to the relocation and re-allocation of resources, Orange County no longer employs a state-funded public health dental hygienist,” explained Ms. Vickie Overman, director of undergraduate dental hygiene programs. “The school health nurses need a referral and screening system in place to identify and aid those children having urgent and preventive dental needs. We hope this collaboration will open the door for further discussion and possibly a means for treating these needs.”
During the meeting, the group discussed the school system’s needs for oral health screening and how the dental community can assist in bridging that gap. The group then went over the basics of dental screenings, what to look for and where children can be referred for dental care if necessary.
Organizers for the event included Overman, Ms. Lattice Sams and Dr. Carol Haggerty. School health nurses Ms. Shelly Bunting and Ms. Stephanie Willis were also instrumental in the planning.