Public health partners with August University, provides dental care in South Georgia
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Students from The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University recently served individuals within the Southeast Health District (SEHD). Working with Dr. Jon A. Drawdy, DMD, two dental residents and a supervising dentist were able to partner with the SEHD Teledentistry program.
The SEHD Teledentistry program provides a variety of services, including oral health screenings, dental X-rays, teeth cleaning, oral home care education, oral hygiene kit, fluoride and sealant application, record review with treatment plan, referral for follow-up services and case management.
"Through our grant partnership with Augusta University, we are able to provide oral health services to the pediatric community. Having this quarterly clinic provides Augusta University dental residents the opportunity to visit our rural area and possibly open a pediatric practice nearby to better serve our community,” stated Oral Health Coordinator Kayla Daniels. During one week, this partnership provided treatment for 30 pediatric patients.
These students also partnered with the SEHD’s Perinatal Health Partners (PHP) program which provides in-home nursing case management for medically diagnosed high-risk pregnant women. The goal of PHP is to maximize pregnancy outcomes for mothers and their newborns and decrease the infant mortality rate as they serve eleven of the sixteen counties within the Southeast Health District. These students were able to provide oral health education to several individuals, including one individual who was only days from giving birth.
“We appreciated the opportunity for the dental residents to experience rural south Georgia through home visits with the Perinatal Health Partners Program,” stated Becky Mitchell, SEHD’s Perinatal Health Coordinator, “It is difficult for pregnant women to receive dental care in our area due to the limited number of dental providers that will accept Medicaid as the source of payment and an even smaller number will do interventive services while a woman is pregnant.”
By working alongside the Perinatal Health Partners, the residents were able to accompany eight PHP visits, experiencing first-hand the distances that patients normally had to travel for care and the lack of resources available locally to patients. They were given the unique opportunity to connect with these high-risk pregnant women and provide much needed dental care. The Southeast Health District is grateful for this opportunity to partner with so many members of the community in this innovative project and looks forward to collaborating on future events to bring more oral health education and treatment to those who are underserved.
Captions for photos:
Health district 1
Students from the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University with Perinatal Health Partners and Teledentistry staff.
Health district 2
Student from the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University on Perinatal Health Partners’ home care visit.