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Sat, Oct. 19

Five local dentists to seal first molars for Prescott students

Five local dentists will seal first molars at no charge on Friday for Prescott Unified School District students whose parents signed them up for the program, said retired dentist Dr. Ron Moore.

Sealant protects the grooved and pitted surfaces of teeth, especially on back teeth like molars, which are hard to clean even if children brush and floss carefully, Moore said.

Second and third grade students brought home a flyer about the free procedure for low-income, uninsured, or underinsured children in November, and parents signed up 31 children for the program, Moore said.

But Moore said he is concerned that there are many more children who would benefit from the simple procedure, which scientific studies have shown reduces the incidence of cavities in molars by about 60 percent.

"This procedure has been around for a number of years, and it's a good service," Moore said. "There's nothing to it for the children and it's a great way to introduce them to the dental office."

Area dentists normally charge about $43 to seal a tooth, so sealing all four first molars can run about $172, but those who sign up for the program and qualify will get that done for free thanks to local dentists Dr. Paul Wulff, Dr. Bobby Raber, Dr. Bob Carlisi, Dr. Paul Hicks, and Dr. Leon Wachtel who will donate their time and services, Moore said.

"I believe this is an excellent program," PUSD superintendent Dave Smucker said. "Parents have an option of participating in the program, which is being offered at no cost to the participants."

The last time this program occurred in January 2010, 60 children had their molars sealed, Moore said.

Taylor Hicks Elementary School Principal Brian Moore said parents interested in having their children take part in the program should call their elementary school's office and to ask about how to sign up for the program.

For more information about the program or to sign your child up, call the school offices at Abia Judd Elementary School at 717-3263, Lincoln School at 717-3249, Miller Valley School at 717-3268, Taylor Hicks Elementary at 717-3276, and Washington Traditional School at 717-3281.

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