Preventing Disease and Promoting Healthy Teeth
Dental Health is a major problem in Wilkes County. Many people do not understand how important taking care of their teeth and gums is until it is too late. Others do not have the ability to pay to have their teeth and gums properly cared for even if they understand how important it is!
The Dental Health Task Force of the Wilkes Community Health Council works to provide education and resources for children and adults for whom dental pain and disability is a source of low self esteem, absenteeism and abjection. Its goals are to increase the number of healthcare providers who provide fluoride varnish for children under age 5; promote the Seal-Out Program by applying sealants to 1st year molars and permanent teeth to as many 3rd grade children as possible; increase awareness of nursing bottle caries; and decrease the new cases of decay in small children.
Dental Health: Sick Care
Wilkes County Health Department provides administrative support to the Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic located in the West Park business park in North Wilkesboro. The Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic has served in excess of 8,000 children and adults. Since its opening, another two dentists, one a surgeon, have been hired.
For Infants and Children
Children’s dental health in Wilkes County has improved since the Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic opened in 2000. In 2001 a mobile dental unit was outfitted through an anonymous donation to go to the schools to provide care. Services at the Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic include comprehensive exams, dental hygiene, restorative dentistry, pediatric dentistry, dental varnishing for infants, root canal treatment, consults and patient sedation. Services can be paid for by cash or through Medicaid.