The McDowell County Board of Education and SMILES Mobile Dentistry collaborated to establish an oral health program, which was implemented in October 2015. Through this joint effort, students have their teeth cleaned and sealed and X-rays taken, if needed, by a certified dental hygienist. Restorative services also are provided by a dentist.
In 2014, a West Virginia Board of Education policy, which recommends that students have a dental examination prior to school entry, was implemented, starting with the 2015-16 school year. This policy affected pre-K and kindergarten students for the first year of its implementation and would be applied to students in grades 2, 7 and 12, respectively, in the subsequent three school years. A Vaccination Tab that monitors each student’s vaccination record contains a module that also tracks which students have not received dental care within the previous six months. The students who have not received dental care during that period will receive an in-school examination from a dental hygienist and follow-up care, if necessary. Community school facilitators or school nurses are responsible for coordinating these dental examinations through the SMILES program.