On Friday, Feb. 16,
A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
(ATSU-ASDOH) and the Arizona Dental Foundation provided more than 250 uninsured
children with free dental treatment at the annual Give Kids A Smile (GKAS)
Care was provided by
ATSU-ASDOH students, faculty and alumni, as well as local volunteer dentists.
In total, about 600 volunteers participated in this year’s event. Children ages
6 to 12 from local school districts and community organizations were
prescreened to receive cleanings, fillings, sealants and extractions.
To reinforce healthy habits,
the event made going to the dentist fun. Festivities included carnival games
and face painting. Many of the dental students dressed up as superheroes and
other fictional characters to put kids at ease as they received care.
is a national program, launched in 2003 by the American Dental Association to
reduce school absenteeism by preventing oral health issues. Since the program’s
inception, more than 5.5 million underserved children across the country have
received free oral health services at a GKAS event.
was ATSU-ASDOH’s 13th year hosting GKAS. In that time, the school has served
more than 4,000 children, providing approximately $2 million in care from 5,000
volunteers. That is certainly something to smile about!
At the beginning of the month,
ATSU-ASDOH hosted the third annual American Indian Pre-dental Admission
Workshop (PAW). PAW’s purpose is to help American Indian college students who
are preparing to apply to dental school navigate the application process and
expand their professional networks. This year, 12 college students from across
the country attended the free workshop.
According to the Society of
American Indian Dentists (SAID), American Indian communities struggle with
limited access to dental care. In fact, SAID estimates there are fewer than 300
American Indian dentists serving a population of 5.2 million. Many of the
students who participate in PAW plan to practice in the communities where they
grew up, increasing access to quality dental care in rural American Indian
In addition to preparing for
the dental school application process, PAW participants get hands-on experience
in the dental simulation lab, one-on-one time with current dental students, and
a tour of the dental school. ATSU-ASDOH even provides the aspiring dentists with
“We want students early in the
process to understand what it is to become a dentist,” says Sarah Hill, a
third-year student at ATSU-ASDOH who played a major role in planning the
of Anne Ackroyd, Public Relations Specialist, A.T. Still University
Published on March 14, 2018