Mission Health ToothBus to provide free dental care to Marion Elementary students next week

Press release

From Mission Health

MARION, N.C. (Feb. 21, 2013) – The ToothBus, a mobile dental clinic staffed with a team of volunteer dentists and dental assistants from Mission Children’s Dental, will be in McDowell County on Tuesday, Feb. 26 to provide free dental sealants to students at Marion Elementary School.

Marion Elementary School third- and fifth-graders with permanent molars will receive dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are plastic coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of back teeth.

The ToothBus program at Mission Children’s Hospital provides free preventive and restorative care to school-aged children throughout western North Carolina. Each year, about 500 to 600 children receive three to four visits from the ToothBus for regular dental check-ups, cleanings, sealant care and oral health education.

“The ToothBus is a great resource we can use to improve dental health, starting with the children of western North Carolina,” said Susan Mims, MPH, MD, Vice President and Medical Director of Mission Children’s Hospital. “According to a recent study by the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign, North Carolina is one of five states that is failing in its efforts to prevent tooth decay. The ToothBus delivers convenient care to children who may have limited access to dental resources.”

The ToothBus visit to Marion Elementary School on Feb. 26 is part of the Give Kids a Smile Day sponsored by the NC Dental Association and the American Dental Association. The American Dental Association began the Give Kids A Smile program in 2003 as a way for ADA members to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children.

About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. In 2012 Mission Health was named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Thomson Reuters – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.

Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates five hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in over 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health. Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, is the system’s flagship hospital and is licensed for 730 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care and is the busiest surgical hospital in North Carolina. It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital– the region’s only children’s hospital. Other Mission Health member hospitals include Angel Medical Center in Franklin, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. With approximately 8,800 employees and 700 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org.


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