The College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) was among the many institutions participating in Give Kids a Smile 2018 on February 1. Dentistry and dental hygiene students provided 1,105 free procedures valued at $22,188 including examinations, radiographs, cleanings, fluoride varnishes, sealants, fillings, extractions, pulpal therapy, and oral hygiene instruction under faculty supervision to more than 80 children from the Freedom Preparatory Academy Charter School.
“This event is a win-win for both the College of Dentistry and the community,” said John Seeberg, DMD, associate dean for clinical and extramural affairs. “Our students are able to receive credit toward their degree for the dental procedures performed, and we are able to provide a much needed service to children in our community.”
This is the fifth time that the school participated in Give Kids a Smile, which the ADA launched in 2003 to provide free dental services to children through the help of volunteers. It also was the third time that the school partnered with the Freedom Preparatory Academy. The first year included dental screenings at the elementary school, and the past two years included dental procedures for middle school students at the College of Dentistry.
“Freedom Preparatory Academy is honored to partner with UTHSC to bring services to our students who would not necessarily have access to these type of services for free,” said Candace Ashir Gray, senior director of marketing and communications for the Freedom Preparatory Academy Charter Schools. “As educators, we want our students to learn proper dental hygiene and to take what they learned here today and apply them to everyday life.”
According to the ADA, 1,338 Give Kids a Smile events are scheduled across the country for 2018, with 6,680 dentists and 23,874 other volunteers serving 290,970 children.