The Dental Hygiene Clinic offered free dental sealants for students from the Jasper School District at the start of the spring semester.

“On that day, we did 181 dental sealants,” says Darlene Bogenpohl, chair of the department. “That equated to $7,240 worth of free dental care.”

The event allowed dental hygiene students at Missouri Southern to gain valuable, hands-on experience and to promote oral health to the children. Bogenpohl says the department will partner with the Joplin Community Clinic for another sealant day for area residents on July 20.

Access to dentists and income issues in the area make partnerships for providing care an important function of the Missouri Southern clinic, says Boegenpohl, who joined the university as the department’s chair in October.

“It’s very well put together and has a very seasoned faculty,” she says of her experience so far with MSSU’s dental hygiene program.