When a student comes to the nurse’s office with a toothache, chipped tooth or a problem with their braces, it may be tough to determine the best course of action.
With the goal of keeping kids healthy and ready to learn, Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation (DDAZF) is hosting an interactive seminar on dental emergencies for school nurses at the 29th Annual School Nurses Organization of Arizona (SNOA) Conference on Friday, July 15 at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park.
To teach the seminar, DDAZF has enlisted Dr. Ken Snyder, Dental Director at St. Vincent de Paul’s Dental Clinic and Dr. Rishi Popat of Popat Orthodontics and Madison Pediatric Dentistry.
The interactive class will cover everything from how to handle a simple toothache to a loose wire on braces. Both dental professionals will provide useful advice on which issues require a call home immediately or can wait until after school.
Dr. Popat will also instruct the nurses attending on some simple and effective ways to fix orthodontic issues so that students can go back to class and finish out the day before consulting their personal orthodontist.
“I have heard from some school nurses that they are just unsure on how to treat some of these emergencies for fear of undoing expensive orthodontic work,” said Dr. Popat. “In reality though, there are very easy ways to fix such things as a broken wire that may be rubbing against a student’s cheek and we hope that this seminar will give these nurses the confidence to handle these sort of emergencies.”
Earlier this year, Dr. Popat hosted nurses from the Madison School District for a similar class in which he went over the basics of dental health and addressed a few common orthodontic and dental emergencies that they might see in the school nurse setting.
He supplied the nurses with a kit filled with dental pliers, orthodontic wax and other helpful materials to help them address certain orthodontic and dental issues.
“School nurses are on the front lines of any health emergency at school and for most, dental issues fall outside of their knowledge and comfort zone,” said Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation Director Sandi Perez. “With this seminar, we hope these nurses can take what they learn and have the confidence to assist these students with their emergency and get them back in class as soon as possible.”
The hour-long seminar will include a question and answer session with Dr. Snyder and Dr. Popat so that not only will the nurses learn from the dentists, but from their peers who deal with similar issues at schools throughout Arizona.