Dentist Leah Carpenter has seen hundreds of patients at Bassett Healthcare Network’s school-based health centers, but hundreds more area children are lacking in dental care, she told The Daily Star on Thursday. Bassett Healthcare Network has 20 health centers in schools through its four-county coverage area, with some operating for more than 25 years. The demand to open more is high, program co-director Dr. Kerri LeBlanc told The Daily Star in November.

“We see a lot of kids who have never seen a dentist, even kids in high school,” Carpenter said. “The preventative side is so important because we don’t have fluoride in a lot of our communities.”