EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Approximately 120 school students from the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) received free basic dental services from the Hunt School of Dental Medicine students during the annual Neighborhood Smiles Day event on Friday, Nov. 17, according to a press release sent by The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC).
In addition to the dental exams, dental students talked with the elementary school children about good oral health, healthy food choices, proper brushing techniques and more.
The event, which was held at the Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic, aims to promote oral health and well-being among young residents of the 79905 neighborhood.
TTUHSC El Paso and Marathon Petroleum partnership is a joint effort to give back to the Borderplex community and leave a positive impact on children.
Marathon Petroleum has been a key community partner in helping the dental school and clinic expand their ability to provide services. The company has supported important public health education opportunities for Hunt School of Dental Medicine students, in addition to ensuring residents of the community to have access to high-quality dental care, according to TTUHSC El Paso.
As part of efforts to improve the accessibility of oral health care in the community, the Hunt School of Dental Medicine offers reduced-cost dental care in its 38,000-square-foot public dental clinic.
The clinic comes equipped with 145 treatment chairs where students work with licensed faculty to deliver high-quality oral health care to the community.
The clinic also offers students hands-on training and an introduction to early clinical experiences among a diverse population, a rare opportunity among dental schools.
TTUHSC El Paso says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designated El Paso as a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area. El Paso has only one dentist for every 4,840 residents, compared to the state average of one dentist for every 2,900 residents. Over 50 West Texas counties have no dentist at all.
Young children are even more vulnerable to poor oral health since they are in the process of losing baby teeth and growing permanent adult teeth.
Many Texas children are experiencing poor oral health as young as three years old due to a lack of access to dental providers. As a result, 43% of Texas children ages 3-5 have experienced tooth decay compared to 28% nationally, according to TTUHSC El Paso.
For more information, visit ttuhscepimpact.org.
Read: Read More