Missouri Progress in Dental Sealants

Sponsored by Department of Health and Senior Services Office of Dental Health

Presented by: Jill Pyle, MSSU; Kim Polk, St. Louis Community College; Lyndsie Thurnau, St. Louis Community College; Meghan Wendland, UMKC; Shannon Covington, Lincoln County Health Department; Rachel Beasley, Jefferson County Health Department. Moderated by Julie Boeckman, DHSS Office of Dental Health. 

Sponsored by DHSS Office of Dental Health

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will increase knowledge on the dental sealant work within Missouri.
2. Participants will gain information on effective ways to implement dental sealant programs.
3. Participants will familiarize themselves with dental sealant implementation experts across the state.

Missouri Southern State University Presentation

Lincoln County Health Department Presentation

St. Louis Community College Presentation

Johnson County Health Department Presentation

University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Dentistry Presentation


Jill Pyle, RDH, BS, MSEd, is employed at Missouri Southern State University as the Dental Hygiene Program Director. She has been a dental hygienist for 23 years. She currently holds degrees in Associate of Dental Hygiene, Bachelor of Science in Biology, and Masters of Education Curriculum and Instruction, all of which were obtained at Missouri Southern State University. Ms. Pyle teaches Community Dental Health Education and Practicum and oversees two Teledentistry grants through the Department of Health and Senior Services. 


Meghan Wendland, DDS, MPH, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Science at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Dentistry. Dr. Wendland also holds an adjunct faculty appointment at ATSU's College of Graduate Health Studies where she teaches for their online Master of Public Health program. Dr. Wendland earned her Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and her Master of Public Health degree from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California and completed her Dental Public Health residency with NYU Langone Hospitals at their training site at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. Prior to her academic role, Dr. Wendland practiced dentistry at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Chicago. Dr. Wendland is passionate about improving the oral health status of communities experiencing grave oral health disparities through public health innovation and health care delivery reform. 


Shannon Covington is a registered dental hygienist who has been in the dental field for over 14 years, graduating from dental assisting school in 2009 and dental hygiene school in 2014. She has worked in the public health spectrum since 2018. She is dedicated to community outreach and oral health education, with a focus on reducing oral health disparities by participating in various community events and programs, including the Missouri Preventative Services Program. She currently works at the Lincoln County Health Department, providing services on-site at their dental clinic in addition to providing services through their teledentistry program at schools in and surrounding Lincoln County.


Kim Polk, RDH, M.Ed. is finishing out her 50th year in dental hygiene having started hygiene school in the fall of 1974.  She has had a very varied and exciting career having taught at a university, dental school, and now at St. Louis Community College (STLCC).  In addition, she spent over 15 years practicing in a periodontal practice with extensive implant maintenance experience, practiced mobile dentistry in the field for five years and then served as the National Director of Clinical Services for that same mobile dentistry company until she joined STLCC in December 2010.  Since then, Kim has worked diligently as the Dental Hygiene Program Director striving to make STLCC an excellent program.  During her tenure the College opened the Forest Park Center for Nursing and Health Sciences which houses the Dental Hygiene Program on the first floor including a 30 chair state-of-the-art clinic.  Kim and the faculty were instrumental in contributing to the design and function of this beautiful facility.  The Program is now expanding to the Florissant Valley campus with the construction of the new Nursing and Health Sciences building. Kim’s STLCC career swan song is the establishment of this additional major educational site which will house a facility very similar to the Forest Park facility.  Enrollment in the Program will double once it opens.
In her spare time, when she can get away, Kim travels between coasts visiting family; daughter and family on the west coast; mom and sister etc, on the east coast.  Kim and her son are smack in the middle.  Kim especially loves to spend time with her toddler twin granddaughters and hopes to move closer to them once she retires. Reading, pup time, friends, restaurant hopping, travel…all fine ways that Kim enjoys spending time outside of school.


Lyndsie Thurnau, RDH, BSDH, M.Ed. brings over two decades of invaluable experience in dentistry to her role as Assistant Professor at St. Louis Community College. With a background that includes early roles as a dental assistant and dental office manager, Lyndsie has evolved into a dynamic educator in the field of dental hygiene.
As a Registered Dental Hygienist, Lyndsie takes pride in shaping the future of dental professionals through her teachings in ethics, dental materials, and clinical dental applications. Beyond the classroom, she leads the Dental Sealant Program, addressing critical gaps in oral health access and community education. 
Lyndsie holds a BSDH and a Master of Education in Learning Theory and Instructional Design from Wichita State University. Actively engaged in dental education communities, she is a member of ADEA and ADHA, contributing to the advancement of dental hygiene practices. Additionally, Lyndsie serves on Wichita State University's M.Ed. LID Advisory Committee. 


Rachel Beasley, CDA-EFDA, graduated from Missouri College in 2016.  She has been providing school-based dental services in Jefferson County for 8 years.  Rachel received her Expanded Functions in Restorative I and Removable Prosthodontic in 2017.  Rachel has been employed with the Jefferson County Health Department since 2020.


Julie Boeckman, Office of Dental Health Program Manager, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Missouri State University in 1996 with a degree in Child Development and a minor in Psychology. She started her public health career in 2001 at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She started in the environmental program, then was Missouri's Vaccines for Children Program Coordinator for five years before joining the Office of Dental Health as Program Manager in December 2017. In the Office of Dental Health, she oversees nine different grants and numerous programs like water fluoridation, dental sealants, dental screenings, fluoride varnish, education, workforce and care for Veterans in order to improve Missourian's oral health.