Sioux Falls, SD
Many children suffer through dental pain, causing them to lose focus in school or not get enough sleep at night. And without a dental care plan, a visit to your dentist can be costly. That's why the Children's Dental Center is offering free dental care this weekend.
On Saturday, the Children's Dental Center is offering a free, one-day clinic for anyone under the age of 18 needing dental care. Dentists, hygienists and dental assistants from the area will come together for one main goal: Treat as many children as possible.
"Sioux Falls itself has some disparities, as well as the state of South Dakota for cavities in young children. Fifty-six percent of children in South Dakota have cavities and 22 percent of those cavities are untreated," Damon Thielen with Children's Dental Center said.
Thielen has been involved with the clinic since it started three years ago. He's one of the 13 volunteer dentists in Sioux Falls who will be working at the free clinic. He says it is much more than just a regular teeth cleaning visit.
"It's a comprehensive clinic, so that means we're not just screening them, cleaning teeth. We can give x-rays, we can do exams, and we can actually do work if these kids need work," Thielen said.
It will be the third year for dentist John Taggart with Children's Dental Center to volunteer at the event, and he says being able to help out in the community is a very rewarding experience.
"They're going to bed at night in pain, or going to school in pain they can't focus. So, it inhibits their learning. I think if we can do whatever we can to get these kids out of pain that's the biggest thing we can do to kind of help them out the best way we know how," Taggart said.
The clinic is estimating around 200 patients will attend this year. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Children's Dental Clinic will start taking patients this Saturday starting at 8am, but they are expecting lines so you might want to get there a little early.
Tooth brushes, toothpaste, and education about prevention will also be given out for free to the young patients.
The clinic will go until 4 p.m. Saturday. To find out where the Children's Dental Center is located, visit the event page on Facebook.
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