Dentistry Volunteers Provide Care for Special Olympics Athletes at "Special Smiles" Event

On January 13th, students and faculty from the College of Dentistry traveled to Kenyon College to provide oral health screenings for Special Olympics athletes participating in a regional swim meet. The Special Smiles event was part of the Special Olympics' Healthy Athletes program that supports the athletes' overall health. 

Beth Chartier, an Assistant Professor in the Division of Dental Hygiene, organized the screening event that included other college faculty, staff, as well as dental hygiene and dental students. Working together, they provided oral health screenings for 29 athletes. 

Ms. Chartier said, "These screenings are typically done at statewide events, so the one at Kenyon College was a pilot project to see what can be achieved at other venues. We wanted to see what we could accomplish because oral health screenings have a significant impact on the overall health and wellness of Special Olympics athletes. The exams can reveal undetected health problems, alleviate pain, and provide an oral health service that otherwise might not be available." She added, "I'm grateful for everyone in the college who supported the event. We are working together to make good things happen for patients with special needs, and I look forward to more events of this kind in the future!"

Volunteers providing a screening

Special Thanks to Dentistry Volunteers: Dr. Stephen Beetstra; Dr. Mark Wenzel; Latasha Clark (Dental Assistant); Sasha Bomser (DHY 2); Megan Miller (DHY 2); Nidhi Patel (DHY 2); Piper Sullivan (DHY 2); Justin Villarreal (DHY 2); Emma Bihlman (D3); Emma Dixon (D3); Hannah Heldt (D2); Vanessa Stitzlein (D3); and Carson Weghorst (D1).

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