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TeamSmile

Posted Nov 3, 2012

Local dentists provided complimentary dental care to Kansas City’s youth

Growing up, the dentist was never someone I was excited to visit. The same goes for many others, the dentist office is that dreadful place you go to get teeth pulled, learn to floss, or find out you have to stop eating candy because you have cavities. For the seventh year, the Chiefs have hosted an event in an attempt to make visiting the dentist more fun. (Photo Gallery)

Last week, members of the Chiefs Community Caring Team hosted the annual “Kansas City Oral Healthcare Day” in conjunction with TeamSmile. Dentists in the metro closed up shop to volunteer their time and talent to children in need of dental care. There were 105 volunteers at the event - 18 dentists, 22 dental assistants, 30 hygienists, and 10 students from dental school, along with 25 volunteers.

The event provided complementary dental care and education to local youth in need. 239 children gathered in the North Club of Arrowhead Stadium which had been transformed into a dentist office, with $500,000 worth of dental equipment and materials wall-to-wall. The children received much-needed dental care, the value of which reached $124,449.

“It’s been a wide range of services,” Chuck Castellano, Community Relations Manager explained. “The kids get assessed when they arrive; they get x-rays and standard cleaning. For some of these kids that require more intense type of dental services they have follow up visits scheduled with the dentist and it’s all gratis.”

The Chiefs are strong advocates for healthy living and TeamSmile began in Kansas City with Dustin Colquitt and Dr. Bill Busch.

“I was watching the news and saw that a boy had passed away when he was 12 back in 2007 in Maryland,” Dr. Busch recalled. “He passed away from not having a baby tooth extracted because his mother didn’t have insurance. It inspired me to try to do something and I head read that Dustin’s mother was a dental assistant and his wife was going to dental school so I contacted him and said, ‘We need to do something.’”

When Colquitt moved to Kansas City he had wanted to get involved in a children’s charity and after hearing from Dr. Busch, TeamSmile was created.

“TeamSmile started in Kansas City with the Chiefs and Dr. Busch’s vision and now it’s spreading throughout the NFL,” Colquitt explained. “You know, when you’re a kid you don’t want to go to the dentist but when you come here, it’s a fun environment, there’s a DJ, dancing, Chiefs players, it’s a lot of fun for the kids.”

The children in attendance didn’t seem to mind going to the dentist at Arrowhead. Once they hopped out of the dentist chair they met Chiefs players and cheerleaders, and hit the dance floor with KC Wolf.

“It’s like a big dental tailgate!” Dr. Busch commented. “We had barbeque outside, we had the football players, KC Wolf was here, and the cheerleaders were here. The cheerleaders were holding kids hands while they were getting shots and the players were getting the kids excited. That’s half the battle, getting kids excited for us to work on their teeth. Having the Chiefs involved has been great.”

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