In the United States, tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of childhood. It affects one in four elementary school children and two out of three adolescents. Nationally, children lose 51,000,000 school hours to dental problems each year. According to a 2012 study published by the American Dental Association, annual emergency room dental visits in the US reached 2.1 million, many of which could have been avoided with regular dental care. Preventive care, though highly cost-effective, is out of reach for many county residents.
Through consultations with local health and school officials in Sullivan County, The PRASAD Project determined that a school-based dental health program was needed – one that could provide comprehensive dental services, including education, prevention, detection and treatment. In April 1998, PRASAD Children’s Dental Health Program began to provide that school-based program.
PRASAD CDHP delivers services via a state-of-the-art mobile clinic. We chose this approach because of Sullivan County’s rural nature and the lack of public transportation. We provide these services through arrangements with schools and local agencies such as County Public Health and the Head Start program.