The NYU College of Dentistry (NYUCD) Mobile Dental Van, Smiling Faces, Going Places, now in its 12th year, has brought critically-needed dental services, oral health preventive care, and educational programs to over 20,000 New York City children through visiting more than 60 public schools, community centers and local health fairs and events in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island annually.
The Van is on the road five days a week, 48 weeks per year, during school hours and after school hours from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm, bringing care to children in federally-designated, medically-underserved areas in the five boroughs. Youngsters from 1 month to 17 years of age receive comprehensive preventive, educational, and primary health services designed to improve their oral health and well-being. The need for dental care is especially acute among these children, who have 60 percent more untreated cavities than their peers at higher socioeconomic levels.
Since 2009, the van has visited nine public schools and 18 community centers in Brooklyn, 14 public schools and 12 community centers in Queens, seven public schools and seven community centers in the Bronx, five community centers in Manhattan and a public school on Staten Island. In addition to these visits, the van attended numerous community fairs and health-related events throughout the city.
The NYU Mobile Dental Van is used 100% for Front Line Services provided by NYUCD dental faculty overseeing postgraduate pediatric dentistry residents, NYUCD dental assistants, NYUCD 4th year DDS student providers, and a staff member coordinating each visit for patient care, screening and prevention.