All Smiles at Marshall County Board of Education
MOUNDSVILLE – The diligent work of local dentists was recognized by members of the Marshall County Board of Education, for their work in improving dental hygiene of students in the district.
Dr. Angela Petros was on hand to receive a certificate of appreciation from board President John Miller. Dr. Shane Helms, who was not present, was also thanked at the brief board meeting Tuesday evening.
Since the 2016-2017 school year, second-graders who have not seen a dentist in 12 months were taken by school bus to the dentists’ offices, thanks to a grant from the West Virginia Oral Disease Prevention project, according to Student Services Director Karen Klamut. Since the inception of the project, the district has received more than $30,000 in grant funding used to sustain the program.
“It’s been an eye-opener, working with both Dr. Helms and Dr. Petros,” Klamut said. “They have gone above and beyond what the scope of the grant has been, working with students from both Cameron Elementary and McNinch Primary, helping students from all over the county, when they’ve needed it. We’re very appreciative of them giving up their time and their talent to the students.
“It’s been quite an opportunity for our students to receive the care that they would not have otherwise received.”
While second-graders are regularly assisted through the program, the dentists do offer assistance outside the scope of the grant to any student in need, Klamut said.
If a student needs more work than the program can provide, such as multiple visits for extensive dental work, parents are notified and the school helps coordinate these visits.
Petros’ office is utilized by students of McNinch Primary School, while Cameron students are taken to Helms’ office. Both dentists’ offices are in Moundsville. Petros said she deeply appreciated the coordinated effort with the school district to help students who might go without.
“For me, just being able to reach out to the children that don’t have access to dental care is really important,” she said. “To be able to get their teeth cleaned, for us to be able to do a dental exam, check for any signs of infection or prevent cavities … that could turn into much larger problems.
Petros said her office’s staff has been very supportive of the program, especially since the office is not typically open on the Fridays that students usually come in.
“I’ve never had any pushback, from the moment that we started doing this program, everyone was ready to get on board and chip in,” she said. “We’re normally not open on Fridays, but we’ve never had a problem with … coming in to help out.”
Petros said the students have been equally supportive for their part, being excited to come in and well-behaved.