It was all smiles at The Viscardi Center on October 20th for its “Take a Dental Health Day – Screening and Education for the Disability Community” event. Dental health is crucial, but often difficult for people with disabilities to access. The collaboration with Nassau County Dental Society, Northwell Health, One Brooklyn Health, Stonybrook University, and Henry Schein Cares provided students and program participants with disabilities from the Henry Viscardi School and The Viscardi Center a free comprehensive screening.
“At the Henry Viscardi School, we promote the holistic health and development of our students and appreciate that oral health is foundational to their wellness. Too often, the health of individuals with disabilities is compromised by the inaccessibility of dental care,” said Dr. Chris Rosa, President & CEO, The Viscardi Center. “For this reason, The Viscardi Center is particularly proud to partner with the Nassau County Dental Society and members of our dental community on our fully inclusive dental screening to ensure that youth and adults with disabilities have meaningful access to high-quality dental care.”
The screenings were conducted by dentists and dental residents with assistance from dental students. Screening areas were set up in the gym, with partitions to provide each patient privacy. Following the exam and a fluoride varnish treatment, participants received their screening report and a goodie bag filled with items needed to maintain oral health. Puppets were used with the elementary students to explain the importance of good dental hygiene. Henry Schein Cares provided the products needed for the exams, as well as the goodie bags.
One of the event organizers, Dr. Eugene G Porcelli, Executive Director of the Nassau County Dental Society, commented on how dental health is essential to all by saying, “Toothaches are one of the leading causes of missed school days. One in seven children aged 6 to 12 suffered from toothache pain in the last 6 months. Nationwide, children miss over 51 million hours of school time each year because of dental issues. One study showed that, on average, children experience 17.7 days of pain before they are seen by an emergency dentist or taken to an ER. This also causes their schoolwork to suffer because they are distracted by the pain. The Nassau County Dental Society is trying to address this problem locally with our Give Kids A Smile event, as well as our screenings with The Viscardi Center.”
About The Viscardi Center
The Viscardi Center, a network of non-profit organizations based in Albertson, NY, provides a lifespan of services that educate, employ, and empower people with disabilities. Its programs and services include Pre-K through High School education (to age 21), school-to-work transition services, vocational training and job placement, digital accessibility services, entrepreneurship, veteran employment, and workforce diversification assistance to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and businesses.