Bassett Healthcare Network Expanding Fluoride Varnish Dental Treatments to Pediatric Patients Across Outpatient Clinics

Treatment takes less than a minute and reduces the risk of tooth decay

Cooperstown, New York— Bassett Healthcare Network works to connect preventive dental treatments with well-child exams in its pediatric clinics through fluoride varnish treatments. Fluoride varnish is a protective substance that is coated on your teeth and can significantly reduce the risk of cavities and cavities. The procedure takes less than a minute and can be performed by a medical or dental provider.

Bassett Healthcare Network's 22 on-campus health centers have begun offering fluoride varnish treatments as part of their dental care supplement to all students at moderate or high risk for tooth decay, which can lead to cavities and tooth loss.

PhD.William Fredette

Now, that service is expanding beyond Bassett’s school-based health program. The organization's dental services and pediatric departments are working together to provide efficient dental treatment to more children in Bassett's eight-county service area. So far, some pediatric and family medicine clinics offer fluoride varnish treatments, including Bassett Pediatrics Cooperstown, Bassett Health Center Oneonta – 125 Main Street, Bassett Health Center Herkimer, and Oneonta Fox Pediatrics. Plans are underway to expand the program to other Bassett Health Network pediatric and family medicine practices.

“I know that children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school than their peers, so I cannot stress enough the value of fluoride treatment for children throughout Bassett’s eight-county service area,” said Co-Director Dr. William Fredette Director of Bassett Health Network's School-Based Health Program and senior attending physician at FoxCare Pediatrics in Oneonta.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is released from rocks into soil, air and water. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by strengthening and rebuilding the tooth surface. Some groundwater and natural spring waters naturally contain higher levels of fluoride, but often the amount of fluoride in household water supplies is not high enough to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash are supplements that help people control and prevent tooth decay through daily oral hygiene habits. Fluoride varnish is a safe, simple, and effective intervention to begin preventing tooth decay in children.

Leah Carpenter, DMD

Leah Carpenter, DMD, senior attending dentist at Bassett Health Network Dental Services, says:

“Many of our rural homes do not have fluoride in their water. Access to affordable dental care is also a challenge in our area, especially for our low-income families. Many people are surprised to learn that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in childhood disease, and it's preventable. Giving healthcare providers the ability to use fluoride varnish is a great way to integrate oral health with the patient's overall health.

“Dental care for young people is an important aspect of their health and well-being,” said Staci Thompson, president and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “We are proud to expand the availability of our fluoride varnish program and bring it to the communities we serve. More healthy smiles.”

About Bassett Healthcare Network

Bassett Healthcare Network is an integrated health system that provides care and services to the people of Central New York over 5,600 square miles. The organization includes five corporate-affiliated hospitals, more than two dozen community health centers, more than two dozen school health centers, two skilled nursing facilities and other health partners in related areas. To learn more about the services provided by Bassett Healthcare Network, visit Follow Bassett on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn. Bassett Healthcare Network is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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