WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Hawkeye Community College will host an all-day free dental clinic on Saturday for the Amish community from Buchanan County. This project is a collaboration with the Black Hawk County Health Department's I-Smile™ program. Volunteer dentists, hygienists, assistants, students and faculty will provide free comprehensive (preventive and restorative) dental care and education to approximately 75 children and their parents at the HCC dental clinic.
The event was developed due to the access to care barriers and lack of oral health awareness identified within the Amish community. The mission of I-Smile™ is to protect the health and wellness of every Iowan through the prevention and early detection of dental disease and through the promotion of optimal oral health.
Nearly 1 in 4 children, aged 2 to 11 years, have untreated cavities in their baby teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cavities are preventable. Many children will attend this event who have never had preventive dental care. Goetsch noted this is not a problem that is unique to the Amish community, as many Iowa dentists do not see young children, there is an extreme shortage of pediatric providers, and many do not accept Medicaid insurance.
Referrals to local dentists will be made for further needs and routine care, as it is recommended that all children, starting at age 1, visit a dentist at least once every year.
The HCC Foundation is allowing donors to contribute to this project, as well as future events, through the Oral Health Community Outreach Fund. The cost of hosting this event is approximately $80.00 per patient, which includes disposable supplies needed, sterilization costs, and materials for fillings and sealants. "We are thankful for all of our generous donors and gracious volunteers, as we could not provide these invaluable services for the children and their parents in our community without them," Goetsch and Enright said.