SMART Smiles was the heart and vision of long-time volunteer and TDASF Access Committee Member, Jennifer Banton, RDH. Mrs. Banton piloted the program in Burnet County ISD in 2013, providing 230 children with over $84,000 worth of dental care. In late 2014, the program was officially adopted into the TDASF family of charitable dental care programs, and through a grant received by United Way of Williamson County in 2015, the program will be expanding throughout the Central Texas region.
Mrs Banton was selected as one of KVUE’s 5 “Who Care” winners for her amazing work with SMART Smiles.
On Screening Day, students who have obtained consent from their parents or legal guardians for dental treatment are screened by a volunteer dentist. They receive a ‘dental report card’ that explains what areas of concern the dentist found and what preventive treatment the child will receive.
On Treatment Day, students are called by class to the treatment room. Here they meet their licensed hygienist and receive a preventive dental cleaning, necessary dental sealants, and an application of fluoride varnish. The combination of these procedures helps to prevent decay. The ‘treatment completed’ form is then sent home to let parents know what care was provided to their child.
FOLLOW UP CARE
For children requiring additional dental care, we will work with local dentists to give students and parents referrals to providers who accept Medicaid/CHIP. A small treatment fund may be available to help children who cannot afford treatment, but do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
Elementary schools with at least 55% of their students on a free/reduced lunch program are eligible for the SMART Smiles Program. Schools districts interested in the program must also raise local community support (financial and volunteer).
The duration of the program is 3 days. Consent forms are first sent home with students. Then a screening exam is scheduled to determine areas of concern followed by treatment a week later.
If your school would like to be considered for a SMART Smiles event, please contact Jennifer Banton.