March 10, 2013: The Virtual Dental Home Demonstration Project in San Mateo County is eleven organizations providing dental care to more than 2,000 people in California, including low-income children at school.According to Lynn Graebner for the California Report, registered dental hygienists and dental assistants go into schools with portable imaging equipment for x-rays and photographs [and] supplies to do temporary fillings and an internet-based dental record system.
After taking the x-rays and photos they upload the images and include dental/medical history to a website where they are reviewed by a dentist who creates a treatment plan (which may include referring patients to dental offices for more complex treatment).
Many children at the preschool may have a dentist, but they don’t go regularly. They show up when they have pain, said registered dental hygienist Ushma Patel. So she and dental assistant Leslie Estrada go to them to offer and encourage preventative care.The project shows that hygienists and their assistants can keep many people healthy by providing education, assessments of dental disease risk, cleanings, fluoride varnishes and dental sealants.
Written by Taylor McCulloch.