Penn College Dental Hygiene Clinic Hosts Sealant Initiative

Published 05.16.2007

Dental Hygiene

Megan E. Folk, of Hamburg, was one of 30 senior dental hygiene students from Penn College who, joined by community volunteers, helped place dental sealants on the molars of children from elementary schools in the Muncy and Sullivan County school districts.Pennsylvania College of Technology's dental hygiene clinic was host on May 9 to a volunteer initiative to place dental sealants on 55 students from Sullivan County Elementary School and the Muncy School District's Ward L. Myers Elementary School.

Representatives from the community and the college volunteered their time in the clinic, including 30 senior dental hygiene students from Penn College; several volunteers from the North Central Dental Hygienists Association; Dr. Mary Bennardi and Dr. Thomas Barberio, of Muncy, and their office staff; Dr. Tom E. Klena, the college's clinic dentist; Rae Ann Karichner, associate professor of dental hygiene; and Debra L. Paucke, infection control technician at the college.

"Sullivan Sealant Day," in its second year, was supported by Sullivan County Action, a nonprofit volunteer group; Sullivan County School District; and the college. Thirty fourth- and fifth-grade students from the Sullivan County School District received 262 sealants on permanent molars and premolars. Sullivan County Action provided transportation for the students to the college; the school's Parent Teacher Organization purchased lunch for the group at a local restaurant.

The volunteers also placed 203 sealants on 25 Muncy students. Muncy's "Operation Smile" initiative, in its first year, was supported by the Muncy Rotary, the Muncy School District and the college.

In the Williamsport area, the average cost to have one sealant placed is about $30. This amounts to $13,950 worth of free dental services provided during the volunteer effort.

The day's efforts were organized by Mary Jo Saxe, associate professor of dental hygiene at the college; Sandy Richmond, school nurse for Sullivan County Elementary School; and Bennardi, whose office donated some of the sealant material for the day's work. The remainder of the materials were provided by the college.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Health Sciences at Penn College, call (570) 327-4519, e-mail the school , or visit its Web site.