Seal Kentucky Program
The objective for Healthy Kentuckians 2000 was to increase to at least 50% the proportion of Kentucky children who have received protective dental sealants. A dental sealant is a plastic coating which is painted on the surface of the tooth to prevent tooth decay. In 1987, only 7.6% of Kentucky children were found to have sealants (Kentucky Oral Health Survey). In response to this need, the Division of Dental Public Health has been working to develop sealant program models and increase the access to dental sealant services in Kentucky.
Since 1996, the Division has conducted school-based, one-to-three day, Seal Kentucky Programs that provide dental screening and dental sealant services primarily in Eastern Kentucky. Seal Kentucky was developed with funding from the Robinson Trust that is administered by the University of Kentucky. The Robinson Trust Foundation serves a targeted 29-county area in Eastern Kentucky. With a three-year grant, the Trust provided funding for a self-contained portable dental clinic that can be set up in a school gym or other school space, a cargo truck to transport the clinic and operational support to help develop this model outreach program.
Depending on available space, a temporary clinic with 3-7 dental operatories and a dental supply and sterilization area can be quickly established to provide dental sealants on-site at the school. Services are delivered using dental students, dental faculty (in-kind), and volunteer dentists and dental auxiliaries from the local communities. The emphasis of this program is on the provision of dental sealant services. Each child is also screened and a report describing their dental status is sent home to their parents.
Program Started: July 1, 1996
Target Population/Eligibility: All elementary school children for whom parents return signed consent forms. Priority for second and sixth grade children (after eruption of permanent molar teeth). No means test is applied.
Start-up Funding: University of Kentucky Robinson Trust
Staffing: Dental Faculty and staff (in-kind)
Volunteer Dentists (local)
Volunteer Dental Auxiliaries (local)
Services: Seal Kentucky clinics, typically one to three days in length, are scheduled during the school year. Dental screenings and dental sealant services are provided on site at the schools.
Counties Served to Date: Adair, Breathitt, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Perry, Pike, Owsley, Rockcastle and Whitley.