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Dental Hygiene Students, Faculty Provide Expertise at Rappahannock Indian Tribe Dental Fair

Two Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene faculty members, Sharon Stull, community outreach coordinator, and Carolyn Bland, adjunct assistant professor, traveled recently with nine senior dental hygiene students to the Rappahannock Indian Tribal Reservation Center to care for people who have not experienced dental care in more than a decade.

The ODU school partnered with the Virginia Dental Hygienists' Association, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry Division of Dental Hygiene and the VCU School of Gerontology at the Rappahannock Indian Tribe Dental Fair, which took place Oct. 22-23, reservation center in St. Stephens Church, Va.

The faculty and students provided client assessment and triage using the latest technology in portable radiographic system and clinical dental hygiene services, collected surveillance data using the DMFT Index, and assisted with surgical tooth extractions and placement of dental restorations as needed.

"Commitment to the underserved and development of cross-cultural competence are valued behaviors operationalized regularly by members of the Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene," said Michele Darby, chair.

"Improving oral health literacy was also a focus of this public health project. Through service learning, the senior dental hygiene students were able to advance their competencies as community-based practitioners and improve the health and welfare of a Native American population. To make this project sustainable, a grant is in the planning."

The students who visited the reservation center are: Elizabeth Dorval, Lauren Fowler, Amanda Gonzales, Anh Ho, Courtney McDowell, Ashley Roe, Karen Snow, Maria Villanueva and Kyle Viloria.

This article was posted on: November 9, 2011

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