Community care

May 19th, 2014


Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry alumni, faculty, students and staff work to improve public health, whether it’s more than 4,000 miles and several time zones away in northern Alaska or just a few strides down the hall in one of the school’s own clinics. This news story from 46 years ago shows the college’s longstanding commitment to Dallas-area residents.

Dental School Aids Children
August 1968, The Baylor Report

Baylor University College of Dentistry is under contract to examine and provide necessary dental work for 900 children, aged 4 through 6 years, for the Head Start Program in Dallas.

The children, from school districts in West and South Dallas, are brought to the College of Dentistry by nurses employed by the program.

Six recently-licensed graduates of the college are performing the dental services: Dr. R. Kelly Roberts, Dr. Barry Brooks, Dr. Robert Rickey, Dr. Walter S. Reeves, Dr. Gary D. Johnson and Dr. Barry G. Acker.

The Head Start Program is sponsored by the Dallas County Community Action Committee and the Dallas Day Nursery Association, a United Fund affiliate. The dental program at the College is under the supervision of Dr. Walter C. Stout, professor and chairman of the Department of Dentistry for Children.

A preliminary survey of dental problems showed that there are an average of four or more decayed, missing, or filled teeth per child. Routine dental service includes an examination, cleaning of the teeth, a topical fluoride application, and full-mouth X-ray.

Necessary dental work is done as the children are brought back to the College Clinic. An accurate statistical survey will be compiled after the program has been completed.

Although approximately 99 percent of the children have never seen a dentist, almost all of them are very cooperative patients and readily accept dental care. The teachers and nurses of the Head Start Program have been extremely helpful in preparing the young patients for their initial visit to the dental clinic.

Many of the children have shown pride in exhibiting their freshly-polished teeth after their first appointment with the dentist.

This Impressions photo and article originally appeared in the Spring 2014 Baylor Dental Journal.

— Carolyn Cox