Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine is funded in part by The Children’s Trust. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.
Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students miss more than 51 million hours of school annually in the United States due to dental-related illness, according to Oral Health in America: Report of the U.S. Surgeon General. A majority of these absences could have been avoided if these children had access to preventive dental services.
To help address this disparity in access to care and the negative impacts on children’s oral heath, The Children’s Trust in Miami-Dade County continues to fund Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Dental Medicine to train approximately 200 medical staff associated with The Children’s Trust to perform oral health screenings for children in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The Nova Southeastern University program provides oral health screenings primarily for dental caries, oral health counseling, fluoride varnish application, referring children in need of treatment to a dentist; and monitoring the program’s effectiveness.
“Oral disease, led by dental caries, is the most prevalent illness children suffer,” said Peter A. Gorski, M.D., M.P.A., chief community health, child development and innovation officer at The Children’s Trust in Miami-Dade County. “The resultant pain and disability affect children’s health, growth, well-being, relationships and academic performance. Moreover, since nearly all children attend school, school-based oral health services and education enable us to reach and support the maximum number of children at a time in life when lifelong problems can be prevented. We are all most grateful for this vital partnership with the faculty and staff of Nova Southeastern University.”