School of Dentistry and United Way join forces for children's dental health
Approximately 17,300 children live within two miles of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. It is estimated that 800 children in this area have a daily urgent need for dental treatment.
The University of Minnesota, with the Twin Cities United Way, organized a facilitated discussion on Tuesday, February 1 with representatives of United Way funded agencies to discuss ways to reach children with unmet dental needs in the Twin Cities. In particular, the group was assembled to match School of Dentistry clinics with excess capacity -- such as the School of Dentistry Pediatric Clinic -- with children in need.
Drs. Sheila Riggs and Daniel Shaw of the School of Dentistry began with a presentation of the disparities in dental health among various populations of children, and the need for Twin Cities health and social service organizations to work together to develop approaches for reaching children who don't have access to the dental care they require. Afterward, the 60 assembled health and family services professionals participated in a brainstorming session to identify roadblocks to dental care access, and ways of addressing them.