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Our mission is to improve the overall health of the people on the Rosebud Reservation by providing access to preventative and restorative dental services. About The Clinic
At St. Francis Mission, we have a vision of adequate dental health for all people on Rosebud Reservation. In 2013, we opened the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic to give Lakota adults and children the dental care they have long needed. A recent American Dental Association study found that 90 percent of the Lakota people on Rosebud Reservation have chronic tooth decay or gum disease. This dental health crisis is the result of living in one of the poorest counties in the United States.
Volunteer dentists and assistants, some of them from the School of Dentistry at Creighton University, are providing many services in the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic. These services include dental exams, x-rays, fillings, cleanings, treatments, follow-up checkups, and education in preventive care.
Most people on Rosebud Reservation, especially children, have never seen a dentist and have never learned how to care for their teeth. The St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic is providing treatment first to the youngest children, then working up in age, with priority to anyone with an urgent need. There is a focus on preventive care and dental health education.
The clinic was founded through the philanthropy of Dr. Jack Boarini and his dentist sons. The Boarinis spread the word about the dental needs on Rosebud Reservation and inspired many dentists to donate equipment. By their efforts, and gifts from many others, Rosebud Reservation has an operational four-chair dental clinic with a license to treat patients through Dr. John Kharouf of Rapid City, South Dakota.
- Megan Salley
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