Please consider downloading the latest version of Internet Explorer
to experience this site as intended.
Tools Search Main Menu

URMC’s SMILEmobile serves students at East High

October 11, 2017

Community Connections: A Newscenter series highlighting the ties between the University and its communities.The SMILEmobile—a program of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, which is part of the University of Rochester Medical Center—is one of the University’s many outreach initiatives. A self-contained traveling dental clinic, it’s wheelchair-accessible and designed to reach underserved or hard-to-reach populations, including people living in poverty, as well as older adults and people with developmental disabilities and other medically complex conditions.

On October 2, the SMILEmobile made a visit to East Upper and Lower Schools in the City of Rochester. Nationwide, oral health problems, which can lead to poor concentration and sleep, among other difficulties, are one of the leading causes of absenteeism from school. That’s especially the case in high-poverty areas. Nearly half of all children in the Rochester City School District live in poverty.

 

sign for smile mobile and UR Eastman bus outside a school

(photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

The SMILEmobile pulls up at East Upper and Lower Schools in Rochester on October 2. Onboard are a dentist, dental assistant, and administrative coordinator to tend to the oral health needs of the students. East has been partnered with the University of Rochester for the last two years under an Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) to help revitalize the school, formerly on the New York State Education Department’s list of persistently failing schools.

 

boy reclined on a dentist chair

(photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

East Lower School sixth-grader Julian Gervais, 11, waits for an x-ray inside the SMILEmobile. It’s his first experience with the travelling dental office, which along with the other SMILEmobiles in the Eastman Institute’s fleet, provided dental services to nearly 2,000 children (during 6,330 patient visits) from 19 Rochester area schools during the 2016–2017 school year.

 

overhead view of dental technician examining boy in a dentist chair

(photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

Dental assistant Dalma Seguinot administers an x-ray to Julian Gervais inside the SMILEmobile. He receives an x-ray and check-up and is scheduled to come back. “It went great. I was not scared,” says the sixth grader who will return for a dental cleaning and some fillings. (photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

 

dentist examining a boy's open mouth

(photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

Dentist Nirmala Tasgaonkar examines East Lower School student Julian Gervais. At the computer is dental assistant Dalma Seguinot. Tasgaonkar, who is the director of the SMILEmobile program and an assistant professor in clinical dentistry at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, calls the mobile dental office a “unique opportunity to bridge barriers to oral health care due to physical, medical, mental, or social situations of different patients,” enabling previously underserved patients “to access comprehensive oral health care services easily and on a regular basis.”

 

students with backpacks sit in a waiting area

(photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

The French siblings (left to right)—12-year-old twins Ciaron and Ella, and their brother Evan, 13—along with Joshua Gervais, 14, await their turn inside the SMILEmobile.

 

dentist and technician looking at x-rays

(photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester)

Dentist Nirmala Tasgaonkar (seated), dental assistant Dalma Seguinot (right), and dental assistant Brenda Bermudez (in back), staff the SMILEmobile.

Tags: , ,

Category: Society & Culture

Contact Author(s)