Indiana News

Pilot Dental Program in Northwest Indiana

2/12/2013

A pilot program hopes to target children from low-income families to help them with dental care. $1.3 million from the Health Resources and Services Adminstration will help the IU School of Dentistry offer the program in northwest Indiana.

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Program leader Dr. Esperanza Angeles Martinez-Mier says the program uses dental hygienists to prevent cavities in children at Title 1 schools. Dr. Martinez-Mier says the program takes advantage of a change in state law that now allows dental hygienists to apply protective caps to molars by themselves, instead of needing a dentist present. She says the grant funding began in October, and they have about 6 months of planning left before the program launches in about a year.

Dr. Martinez-Mier says if the program proves successful, it will be used as a model in the rest of the state.

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