UHMC “Sea of Smiles” Event Offers Free Dental Procedures to Island Keiki, Dec. 11
The first “Sea of Smiles” Dental Day takes place at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College campus from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11. At the event, island keiki under the age of 18 can receive free x-rays, dental exams, teeth cleaning, fillings and other dental services.
The event, spearheaded by local dental hygienist Kellyn Fuller and Rosie Vierra, Program Coordinator for the college’s Dental Hygiene Program, is open to all children, with no dental insurance needed.
A group of eight dentists, 15 hygienists and 20 dental hygiene students have volunteered their time for the event. With 18 state-of-the-art dental suites available, the event’s goal is to provide care to 100 patients.
“If it’s successful,” says Vierra, “we’ll try to do this annually.”
Fuller, who also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the college’s dental hygiene program said, “Hawaiʻi has the highest rate of childhood tooth decay in the country. There’s a huge gap in access to dentistry care for children.”
Fuller’s goal is to “help Maui children and their parents find a dental home and access to state insurance if needed.” IMUA Family Services will provide information to help families who are eligible sign up for state insurance programs and other services.
The Hawaii Dental Service Foundation provided a grant to cover all supplies for the event; and Ryan Arakawa’s graphic design class at King Kekaulike High School designed the event logo.
Sea of Smiles will be held on the UH Maui College campus, 310 West Ka’ahumanu Ave., Kahului.
Those who wish to attend are encouraged to pre-register for an appointment. For more information, contact Kellyn Fuller at [email protected].