The KidsPeace dental clinic has gone high-tech with digital x-rays, thanks to the latest installment from a $150,000 Highmark Foundation grant.
Dr. Kimberly Servagno, KidsPeace dentist, said the switch will save time, money and is better for the environment. It also allows the dental staff to educate patients by displaying the images on a screen and showing them exactly what’s going on in their mouths so they can stave off cavities and other problems before they get too severe.
The clinic, which opened last spring in the Donley TEC building on the Orchard Hills campus in North Whitehall Township, also boasts a brand new sterilizer and a panoramic x-ray machine. The x-ray machine will be particularly helpful when dealing with children in crisis, since they might not want anyone to touch their mouths, Servagno said. It also takes images faster and with less radiation than traditional x-ray machines, a key component since new patients rarely come to KidsPeace with dental records, so they almost always require x-rays.
“We are extremely grateful to the Highmark Foundation for their generous contribution to the health and well-being of our children,” said KidsPeace President and CEO William Isemann. “This equipment will enhance the quality of care we are able to offer and reduce the chance that patients will be further traumatized by routine dental visits.”
The grant, implemented over a two-year period, covered a variety of expenses including staff salaries, dental equipment and supplies and educational materials.
“Since the clinic’s opening, we are pleased to see the accomplishments that have taken place in just one year,” said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. “To enable a more efficient process and a unique way for the patient to be more involved in his/her care is a great way to encourage preventive care.”
Prior to the state-of-the-art clinic opening, KidsPeace provided a clinic at the former Washington School building in Salisbury Township. However, the off-site location did not have modern equipment, and it was inconvenient to transport the youth more than 30 miles round-trip. The clinic, which is now housed in the same building as classrooms, sees seven or eight patients a day, and is no longer a hassle if an appointment has to be rescheduled.