March 10, 2020
Three recent community service events organized by volunteers from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry boosted the oral health of many children and adults from throughout Northern California.
The events were made possible by generous volunteers who spent their time providing care and education at the following events, two of which were organized to coincide with National Children’s Dental Health Month:
Special Smiles Day — March 7 in San Francisco
Volunteers from the Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) and the school’s American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) student chapter joined together to organize the event held on the Dugoni School’s San Francisco campus. The event was designed for children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities.
Dental students, dental hygiene students, residents, faculty and staff collaborated to provide care for 22 individuals with special needs, including cleanings, fillings, fluoride varnish and silver diamine fluoride treatments as well as prevention/hygiene instruction.
“The patients seen were very appreciative and the volunteers truly enjoyed their experiences,” said faculty member Dr. Allen Wong, who along with Dr. Lynette Wong serves as faculty advisor to the AADMD student chapter. “We’re very proud of the students from SCOPE and AADMD for providing a wonderful service and working together towards inclusiveness.”
Give Kids a Smile — Feb. 29 in San Francisco
At another event in San Francisco, held at the Dugoni School’s Hutto Patterson Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, more than 100 children received dental check-ups, cleanings, fluoride treatment, sealants, orthodontic evaluations and health gift bags. Children also played with cuddly animals at the Little Explorers Petting Zoo set up outside the school. Volunteer dental students provided oral health games and educational information to attendees.
More than $150 in free dental services was provided to each child thanks to efforts of volunteers from Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) and the pediatric and orthodontic clinics.
Give Special Kids a Smile — Feb. 8 in Union City
In the East Bay, the Dugoni School’s Union City Dental Care Center held a Give Special Kids a Smile event in partnership with the Southern Alameda County Dental Society. The event was held for children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities.
Each patient received a free dental screening, a free dental health kit with toothbrush, paste, floss and other goodies, and some received treatment procedures. Activities included interactions with a miniature therapy horse available outside to comfort and engage with visitors.
Each year, the Dugoni School participates in the nationwide "Give Kids a Smile" initiative to serve local children and families, including those who may not have a dental home. "Give Kids a Smile" was started by the American Dental Association in 2003 as a way to encourage dentists to connect with their communities by providing dental services to underserved children.