Release Date: November 9, 2012
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's School of Dental Medicine celebrated the unveiling of its new, state-of-the-art mobile dental van "S-miles To Go" on Nov. 9 in the lobby of Squire Hall on the South Campus.
Constructed by LifeLine Mobile, the "S-miles To Go" dental van is a 42-foot-long, three-chair dental clinic built on a semi-trailer chassis. It can be moved between elementary schools in Chautauqua County. The new unit features a wheelchair lift, a panoramic X-ray unit, digital radiography, an intake/education area and electronic patient records.
Tooth decay is the most chronic disease among children. In one year, more than 51 million hours of school is missed because of tooth decay or other dental-related illness.
The UB dental school has served the oral health care needs of children in Chautauqua County for 15 years with its school-based mobile dental van. Chautauqua County is designated a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area, with few dentists serving Medicaid-eligible patients. UB's MDU dental staff has provided care during 38,000 patient visits since 1997.
The new mobile dental unit was funded in large part by a grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation and the Lenna Foundation, both of Jamestown, N.Y., also made significant contributions to the project.
Speakers at the event included Congressman Brian Higgins, U.S. Representative for New York's 27th District; Michael Glick, DMD, dean and professor of the UB dental school; Michael Cain, dean, UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and vice president for the health sciences; and mobile dental unit clinic director Barbara Moore, DDS.
In his remarks, Higgins praised the UB dental school for its commitment to the children of Chautauqua County and their oral health needs.
"UB is an extraordinary resource to our community. I applaud the efforts and vision of UB for bringing oral health care to the underserved in Chautauqua County and public service to the citizens of Western New York," he said.
Glick thanked the team who helped bring the new dental unit to UB, from those who authored the grant to the staff who works on the van, itself.
"We are very pleased that with our new mobile dental unit, the UB mobile dental program has been presented with the unique opportunity to continue to provide necessary dental/health care to 24 schools and more than 3000 children per year in Chautauqua County," said Glick.