We are proud to partner with Tooth B.U.D.D.S again this year, and happy to present them with a check for $125,000.
Tooth B.U.D.D.S. is a school-based dental hygiene program staffed by Affiliated Practice Dental Hygienists that focuses on providing preventive dental hygiene services to children at the convenience of their school location. Services include a dental screening, cleaning, sealants, fluoride varnish, Silver Diamine Fluoride and S.M.A.R.T. restorations. Tooth BUDDS also uses teledentistry and intraoral camera images to communicate the urgent needs of children to their affiliated dentist.
Oral health care is an ongoing need for most children in Arizona, particularly those located in rural areas without access to a local dental provider. Both Graham and Greenlee Counties have medically under-served populations and lack the dental resources needed to satisfy their populations according to the Health Resource and Services Association (HRSA) Shortage Designation statistics (www.hrsa.gov/shortage). This affects approximately 13,000 children under the age of 18 living within this region with over half of those children living below 200% of the federal poverty level (Bureau, 2015). Presently, Greenlee County ranks lowest in the state for children who have seen a dentist in the last year by a margin of 22%.
Fear, finances and access to care are the the leading factors that prevent parents from taking their child to a dentist. Tooth BUDDS tackles these issues by taking the dental chair to the students where friendly licensed hygienists take the time to create a positive dental experience in the chair delivering preventive dental services. At the same time, without a needle, drill or sedation, they are able to stop active decay using Silver Diamine Fluoride and S.M.A.R.T. restorations.