Dental hygiene receives $20K for new equipment


The ULM Dental Hygiene program will be all smiles thanks to a $20,000 grant awarded to them by Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental Insurance Company.

The grant was submitted in March 2018 and funded in Oct. 2018. Last year, the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation awarded  $15.8 million to nearly 400 organizations across 15 states and the District of Columbia, according to Jordan Anderson, a dental hygiene associate professor.

“This was the largest number of grants, both in total number and dollar amount ever in its history,” Anderson said.

“Every dollar went to an organization such as the ULM Dental Hygiene program that shares our mission and vision for a healthier community by either providing direct dental care to the underserved, oral health education to children and adults or conducting scientific research aimed at improving oral health,” Anderson said.

ULM has three dental hygiene clinics: Riser Elementary School-based dental hygiene clinic in West Monroe, a mobile dental hygiene unit and the ULM Dental Hygiene Clinic in Caldwell Hall on campus.

Operation of the mobile dental hygiene unit provides dental hygiene care to patients in parishes like Ouachita, Richland, Morehouse, East Carroll and Caldwell. The clinics, using funds from this grant, have purchased new equipment to provide quality, state of the art patient care to Northeast Louisiana residents.

This will also help provide the best quality education to ULM dental hygiene students, according to Anderson. The purchased equipment will allow students to learn with more advanced technology to better prepare them for the dental field.

Recognizing that “being able to update the equipment is really important, because it will make it a more efficient clinic for the Monroe community,” makes senior dental hygiene major Jordan Ledet “extremely happy for the future of [the] program.”

The greatest benefit of the grant is ultimately the enhanced ability for students like senior dental hygiene major student Shauntea Cooper to give back to the community.

“There is no greater feeling than seeing your patient’s smile after you’ve helped them improve their oral health,” Cooper said.

Having served 2,452 patients in 2018, according to a press release by ULM, improving the oral health of the Monroe community and surrounding areas is exactly what the ULM Dental Hygiene clinics are in the business of doing.