In 2010, the Kentucky state legislature amended KRS 156.160 to require every five or six year old child entering kindergarten in public school to have and provide proof of a dental screening or examination. This screening/examination may be performed by a dentist, dental hygienist, physician, registered nurse (with special training), nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. Proof of the screening must be turned into the school administration by January 1st after the child begins attending public school. Since the IRH Mobile Dental Unit travels to many elementary schools in the WKU service area providing the Dental Sealant Program which includes exams, cleanings, sealants, and fluoride treatments for 2nd graders, the IRH decided to pilot the offering of kindergarten screenings in the 2012-2013 academic year. The IRH Mobile Dental Unit began offering the required screenings for kindergarteners if they had not yet received one from another healthcare provider to Morgantown Elementary as a pilot program to assess the feasibility of providing the screenings while still maintaining the Dental Sealant Program. During the 2012-2013 school year, the IRH Dental Team provided 53 kindergarten screenings. The pilot program proved to be successful. In the 2014-2015 academic year the screenings were offered wide scale and the IRH provided the service to 243 children in the WKU service area.
Learn more about outreach of the Institute for Rural Health by visiting their website at http://www.wku.edu/irh/.
Contact: Daniel Carter, DMD or Bonny Petty, RDH - WKU Institute for Rural Health