LSU Dental School to Open After-Hours Pediatric Clinic

LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry plans to open an after-hours pediatric dental clinic in November, with support from a $37,156.83 grant from Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC): The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. 

Dental students and pediatric dental residents, under faculty supervision, will treat children and adolescents by appointment in the clinic on the LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry campus, 1100 Florida Avenue. Services include examinations, x-rays, cleanings and sealants, as well as restorative services (fillings, crowns, pulp therapy, space maintenance) and extractions. The clinic will be open two evenings a month, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. and one Saturday per month, from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 504-941-8201. The clinic will accept Medicaid and LaCHIP, and others can benefit from the discounted care under the school’s student fee schedule.

“While dental disease is preventable, many working families cannot take off from work or take children out of school to go the dentist,” notes Dr. Henry Gremillion, Dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. “By offering after-hours care, we hope to remove those barriers to dental care and establish a dental home for children of the Greater New Orleans community.”

According to a 2011 survey published by the Louisiana Department of Health, almost two out of every three children in Louisiana had experienced cavities before entering 4th grade. The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released rankings in 2015 indicating that Louisiana ranks second in the country in the number of third graders with untreated dental decay. 

“At a recent Give Kids a Smile Day outreach program held at our school, of the 99 local third, fourth and fifth graders screened, 11 were found to have emergent dental needs, and 68 had cavities or a need for dental sealants,” adds Dr. Kimberly Patterson, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry.

The LSU Health New Orleans After-Hours Pediatric Dental Clinic will provide a new resource to better meet the need for access to dental care for Louisiana’s children, at the same time helping to educate Louisiana’s future dental professionals.