KY (Nov. 20, 2001) --
Central Kentucky children now will have more access to dental care
due to collaboration between Ronald McDonald House Charities of
the Bluegrass and the University of Kentucky College of
On Nov. 19, the two
groups unveiled a new comprehensive mobile dental van, valued at
more than $300,000, that will be staffed five days a week by UK
College of Dentistry faculty, residents and students, providing
care to children at high risk for dental disease.
On designated Saturdays, the van also will travel to area
McDonald’s Restaurant parking lots and volunteer dentists will
provide dental services.
The dental van, which
features three treatment bays, was made possible with a grant from
Ronald McDonald Charities of the Bluegrass, and additional funding
from the National Ronald McDonald Charities, ADEC, and the
Honorary Order of the Kentucky Colonels.
Services are scheduled
to begin at the first site in early December at Russell Elementary
in Lexington. College professor, residents and students will
provide dental screenings and preventive treatment to students.
The UK College of
Dentistry has been a leader in treating children via mobile units
since the 1980s, said Leon Assael, D.M.D., dean of the College. “This collaboration is another step in making a change that
will benefit our children’s future and the future of the
A 2001 Kentucky
children’s oral health survey indicated that 57 percent of third
and sixth graders had tooth decay or fillings and 31 percent
needed treatment, said M. Raynor Mullins, D.M.D., director of the
public service program at the UK College of Dentistry. “Both
statistics are two times the national average.”
UK and the Ronald McDonald House have a history of serving
children and families from throughout the state, said Cindy Derer,
D.M.D., a UK College of Dentistry alumna and president of the
local Ronald McDonald House Charities Board of Directors.
“With the van, we wanted to do something to specifically
benefit our local children.”