The Georgia Oral Health Prevention Program (GOHPP) of District 4 Public Health provides school-based preventative dentistry and educational services to a 12- county region. The GOHPP focuses on providing services to underprivileged children that have no insurance, state insurance and/or have access to care issues.
This focus is important as many of the counties that we service do not have an adequate number of dentists that are willing to accept Medicaid/Peachcare patients and only three of our counties have a reduced-fee dental resource for the uninsured.
With tooth decay being the single most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma, we have to make advancements in the prevention of this disease which not only restricts activities in school, work, and home but often diminishes the quality of life. One very easy prevention procedure is to apply dental sealants.
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted on the natural cracks and crevices on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Among children, this is where 90% of cavities are found. Sealants protect these chewing surfaces from decay by preventing food and bacteria from becoming impacted in the grooves. Its protection potential is second only to fluoride in its ability to prevent cavities.
Studies have shown that school-based sealant delivery programs increase the number of children who receive sealants, and that dental sealants result in a large reduction in tooth decay among school-aged children (5 to 16 years of age).
School-based sealant programs also increase the identification of cavities in children who do not regularly visit a dentist and improve access to dental health services by referring children who need dental interventions. We also offer opportunities for additional school-wide dental screenings, classroom education, fluoride mouth rinse & varnish programs, and general outreach.
Schools that are offered these services are typically chosen based on the percentage of children participating in the Free & Reduced Price Meal (F&R) program. A high participation rate in this program is a good indicator of the socioeconomic status of the community. Generally, the lower the socioeconomic status, the higher the decay and untreated dental needs rate. We look for an F&R participation rate around 50%.
Currently our school-based sealant program is active in the Lamar County, Troup County and Carrollton City School Systems. A fluoride mouth rinse program is in operation and we have two public health dental clinics open in Heard County and Lamar County.
The clinic will typically be open one day a week and provides general prevention and restorative services for children, pregnant women and limited adult services on a space available basis.
The dental clinic accepts all Medicaid and Peachcare coverage, as well as provides a sliding-scale fee program for the uninsured. Private insurance is not accepted at this time.
To schedule an appointment, contact the appropriate dental clinic and a member of the staff will assist you.
Heard County Dental Clinic
1191 Franklin Parkway
Lamar County Dental Clinic
118 Academy Drive, Suite D
The dental contact for District 4 Public Health is: Paige Beam, RDH, BAS, District Dental Hygienist, 122-A Gordon Commercial Drive, LaGrange, GA, 30240;