Bulletin of Dental Education

University of Detroit Mercy Introduces New Mobile Unit Program for Children

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UDM SOD LogoThe University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry (UDM SOD) has announced a new mobile dental unit slated to provide dental care to children beginning August 2015. 

Under the new UDM SOD School-Based Dental Services Program, dental students and faculty will travel to schools throughout metropolitan Detroit to provide comprehensive diagnostic, preventive and restorative treatment to thousands of children. The mobile coach and four portable dental chairs were funded by generous grants from Delta Dental Foundation.

To celebrate UDM SOD’s new addition, a Dental Day event was hosted at Noble Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. Nearly 400 children in pre-K to fourth grade received oral health education from UDM SOD dental and dental hygiene students.

“This mobile unit will provide a unique learning experience for our students, improving their confidence and competence. It will also address the important access-to-care issue in the city of Detroit as oral health care will be provided to a population that likely would not otherwise receive it," says Mert N. Aksu, D.D.S., J.D., M.H.S.A., Dean of UDM SOD. "We are extremely appreciative of Delta Dental Foundation’s extremely generous gift.” 

Nationwide, children miss 51 million hours of school each year due to oral health problems, and three of every five children are affected by tooth decay. The UDM SOD School-Based Dental Services Program expects 1,600 patient visits during the 2015–16 academic year. Services offered to children will include dental exams, prophylaxis, radiographs, sealants, restorative care, extractions, mouth guards, referrals, oral health education and emergency services. This mobile unit will help ensure high quality, regular dental care, so children of Detroit may show up for school feeling healthy, pain-free and ready to learn. 

This particular mobile dental coach is unique from others because its primary purpose is to provide comprehensive oral health care,” says Dr. Aksu. “This is not just about treating diseases; it is about preventive services and education that will prepare children to become healthier adults.” 

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