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'This service is greatly needed': Dublin dentist provides screenings for students

The school district says many students don't have dental insurance, so this is a way of giving medical attention to kids who need it most.

DUBLIN, Ga. — Dublin Schools says more than 90% of its students live in some form of poverty, and that means they may not have access to basic services like dental screenings.

Hillcrest Elementary media specialist Jessica Dial says a lot of the students don't have dental insurance, so the school district brings in a dentist to do screenings.

Sonya May Calvin says she's happy the district is providing help.

"For the community to be able to come and receive this service is greatly needed and so appreciated," said May Calvin.

Dial says students who don't have insurance can receive assistance.

"No student that needs medical attention will be denied medical attention. We will make sure that they get what they need one way or another with insurance, or with somebody helping with that assistance," said Dial. 

Dentist Valerie Ambrose says toothaches can cause children to miss school and greatly impact their education.

"The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends having a dental home by 1-year-old. A lot of these children don't have dental homes, so we want to help facilitate them having a place to go to the dentist," said Ambrose.

Ambrose handed out goody bags for the children with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss to help promote healthy habits. 

Ariel Calvin said she enjoys going to the dentist.

"It helps you keep your teeth clean and everyone in the school might have problems with their teeth, but when they go to the dentist they get a nice shiny beautiful smile," said Calvin.

Ambrose says they hope to reach out to as many Central Georgia programs as they can to help make parents aware that children can suffer from dental issues, and that they have a place to get dental treatment.

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