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Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine is Site for Ohio Dental Association's Give Kids a Smile State Kick-Off Program ... Legislators, Health Officials, Special Dignitaries to Attend Children's Free Dental Care Program

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An estimated 300 youth in need of dental care from Cleveland's John Raper and Scranton Elementary Schools, and a Cleveland Boys & Girls Club, will receive free dental care at the seventh annual Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program in Cleveland on Friday, Feb. 6, 2009. This day-long event will be held at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine dental clinic. In addition, 40 children from a Cleveland HeadStart program will receive free restorative care in the Tapper Pediatric Dental Center in Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.

Before the dental care starts at 10 a.m., the Ohio Dental Association will commemorate Ohio's GKAS programs with a special program hosted by the university and dental school. Speakers include Dr. Alvin Jackson, director of the Ohio Department of Health; Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; president of Case Western Reserve University, Barbara Snyder, and others. Other special guests include Ohio legislators, educators and deputy administrators within the Cleveland School district, representatives from GKAS national sponsors Henry Schein Dental and Colgate, and the Colgate Bright Smiles Bright Futures mobile dental van and team.

Nearly 100 GKAS events will be held in Ohio this day, some in private dental offices, many in partnership with Ohio dental schools, dental auxiliary programs and dental clinics throughout the state. Over 1,600 volunteers are expected to provide free dental services to an estimated 20,000 underserved Ohio children with an anticipated dollar value in excess of $1.1 million. Many events are ongoing throughout the school year.

President of the Ohio Dental Association, Dr. Burton Job, said GKAS is about helping those most in need, and helping to improve a child's oral health is important to their overall well-being. "Ohio dentists continue to reach out to children in need and are making a real difference in these children's oral and overall health."

In the first six years of GKAS, Ohio dental volunteers provided more than $4,996,212 in free dental services to over 123,000 Ohio children in need.

Give Kids a Smile was started in 2003 by the American Dental Association, and would not be as successful without support from others in the dental community. In addition to services and materials provided to Ohio volunteers by the Ohio Dental Association, support has also been provided by the Delta Dental Foundation and Kerr Sybron Dental Specialties. Give Kids a Smile is supported in Ohio and nationally by the American Dental Association, Colgate, Henry Schein Dental and Dexis Digital X-ray Systems, Inc.

SOURCE Ohio Dental Association
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