October 17, 2005

Contact: Angela Heisel (505) 272-3651;Jenny Savage (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Students of the University of New Mexico Dental Hygiene program are heading back to middle school to learn important lessons in dentistry. For a second consecutive year, Van Buren Middle School is the site of a UNM school-based preventive dental hygiene clinic working to provide Van Buren students with free access to dental care. The clinic is a collaboration of efforts between the UNM Dental Hygiene program, and the Division of Dental Services within the UNM HSC Department of Surgery.

The clinic is staffed with dental hygiene faculty, dental faculty, and both graduate and undergraduate students from the Division of Dental Hygiene at UNM who provide dental exams, cleanings, fluorides and sealants to Van Buren students.

"The clinic is a great setting to teach our dental hygiene students how to bring dental services to those in need, in a setting other than a private dental office," said Christine Nathe, graduate program director at the UNM division of dental hygiene.

During the 2004-5 academic year, 170 dental exams were performed on Van Buren Middle School children in addition to 120 cleanings and fluoride treatments, and 180 sealants. Fifteen percent of students treated were referred to the Southwest Heights UNM Dental Clinic for further dental work.

UNM Students see patients at the Van Buren Clinic on Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. - noon every week.