local area children with Dental Hygeniest, Ruth Doane of Speare Community Dental Health program use this
Posted on July 10th, 2018 by Speare Memorial Hospital

Speare Trains Future Dental Hygienists for Under-Served Areas

local area children with Dental Hygienist, Ruth Doane of Speare Community Dental Health program use this
Local area children with Dental Hygienist, Ruth Doane of Speare Community Dental Health program.
It can be tough to find dental care in rural areas throughout our country. Because there are still places in New Hampshire where people don’t have access to dental care, Speare has been training dental hygiene students to work in these settings when they graduate.
“This is a real asset to our state,” says Ruth Doane, certified public health dental hygienist at Speare. “It has been my privilege to provide dental care to students in our rural schools and to train those who will meet these needs in the future.”
Led by Ruth, students from the highly respected dental hygiene program at New Hampshire Technical Institute spend a semester gaining exposure to public health dental services at the schools and medical offices Ruth visits. This includes the eight schools within the Pemi-Baker Regional School District (SAU 48).
Ruth teaches the students how to do cleanings and fluoride treatments. She demonstrates how to place sealants—a bit of resin material placed in the molars to prevent cavities—and how to make temporary fillings. Students also learn how to use silver diamine fluoride (SDF) on cavities located in molars and premolars to stop the progress of a cavity.
“The increased scope of services in the program is outstanding,” says Ellen Young, RN, school nurse at Ashland Elementary School. “Many parents are electing for their children to have sealants and fillings for areas of decay here at school, most likely resulting in more expedient care.”
While the hygiene students meet the requirements of their degree by gaining experience in educational and public health settings, they are learning first-hand the importance of proving dental services in rural schools.
“I was one of the original school nurses involved in getting Speare’s dental program started,” says Elizabeth Mills, RN, school nurse at Thornton Central School. “Many students had never been to a dentist and had issues with decay. This caused missed school time with trips to the ER for dental infections.”
Providing dental services and training at schools and places like the Plymouth and Bristol WIC clinics (Women, Infant, Children) has helped to educate a new generation of dental hygienists while lowering the incidences of cavities in children — and Speare couldn’t be more pleased with these results.

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