Jan. 19, 2005
For the third year in a row, staff and students from HACC s dental hygiene program will offer free dental services to children without access to dental care as part of a day-long statewide initiative to increase dental health awareness.

Planned for Saturday, February 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sealant Saturday is an annual event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists Association (PDHA) in recognition of National Children s Dental Health Month.

Faculty, senior hygiene students and expanded function dental assisting students from Central Pennsylvania s Community College will join other volunteer dentists and registered hygienists throughout the state to provide free oral exams and dental sealants for children between the ages of 6 and 13 years only. First year hygiene and dental assisting students are contributing their support by managing appointments, sterilizing instruments and other introductory procedures. Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to "seal" the pits and grooves on the teeth where tooth decay occurs.

The core of the dental hygiene profession is founded in education, prevention and community, says Kathy Schlotthauer, director of HACC s dental hygiene program. HACC dental hygiene faculty and students participate in Sealant Saturday because it is an important community service project for people who don t have access to dental care.

HACC s clinics will be held in three locations-at its Harrisburg Campus, in Lancaster at the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, and in Carlisle at the Sadler Dental Clinic. To make an appointment for a child at either the Harrisburg or Lancaster sites, parents are asked to call 800-222-4222, extension 2441. For appointments in Carlisle, call 717-218-6670. Space is limited, so parents are encouraged to call early.

Last year, participants in Sealant Saturday served 400 underserved and uninsured children throughout the state and donated $81,000 in free dental hygiene services to needy children.

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