by Amanda White
College of Dentistry dental assistant Amy Simmons
and second-year Family Practice resident Michael King
2-year-old Noah Dugger’s teeth in the UK Ronald
McDonald dental van at the Salvation Army’s
Children’s Haven Daycare.
this grant, we are able to give residents a more comprehensive
dental background, which will in turn help them recognize
children at risk for poor oral health and allow them
to promote oral hygiene to patients seen in general
Ferretti, D.D.S., professor, UK College of Dentistry
31, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The
mouth serves as a pathway to the rest of the body.
That is why educators at the University
of Kentucky College of Dentistry are helping to
ensure family practice medical residents know how
to screen young patients for signs of poor oral health.
practice physicians typically see a child seven times
before the child's first visit to a dentist. By recognizing
the importance of good oral hygiene, a primary care
physician may be able to prevent a child from developing
tooth decay-which can begin as soon as the first baby
medical students receive only minimal dental education,"
said Gerald Ferretti, D.D.S., professor, UK College
of Dentistry. "With this grant, we are able to
give residents a more comprehensive dental background,
which will in turn help them recognize children at
risk for poor oral health and allow them to promote
oral hygiene to patients seen in general practice."
is principal investigator for the three-year, $500,000
Human Resource Service Administration grant, which
was competitively awarded to only eight schools and
hospitals across the nation.
of the grant is to teach family practice residents
to recognize both local and systematic effects of
various kinds of oral health problems, such as baby
bottle decay and early childhood caries. Residents
receive 24 hours of classroom education. The residents
then put the knowledge to use by evaluating children's
oral health through clinical experience in both dental
and medical settings.
in the mouth can lead to significant problems in the
developing child," Ferretti said. "Early
detection is key to preventing these problems."