Alma Negreta's son, Leonardo, is one of over 200 students at Harmon Johnson Elementary School who receive oral care through a virtual dental office located on school grounds.
The virtual office places dental hygienists into the elementary schools.Hygienists clean teeth, treat cavities, and teach brushing and flossing techniques. Patient x-rays and charts are electronically sent to dentists for review to create a dental treatment plan.
The program is part of a six-year project developed by University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
Negreta says having a dental office at the school has made it easier for her son to get the care he needs. She says at one point he had nine cavities, which required him to miss class due to his dental appoinments.
"With this program they won't no miss school. They won't miss nothing from [the] classroom and they're not behind," she says.
A report on the project says teledentistry is a safe and effective method of providing care. It also found that the program delivers more prevention and early intervention at less cost per patient compared to Denti-Cal.