Dentists, dental students provide free care for kids in need

Posted at 9:27 PM, Feb 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-02 23:27:23-05

OREM, Utah — Nearly 150 dentists and dental students volunteered their time on Saturday to provide around 200 children without dental insurance necessary dental procedures free of charge.

The annual Give Kids a Smile event took place on Saturday at the Utah College of Dental Hygiene in Orem, and Utah dentists donated more than $100,000 worth of free dental care. Saturday’s event was part of the American Dental Association’s national program.

Jason Allan is a dentist as well as the dean of the Utah College of Dental Hygiene. He said the event helped the children and the dental students.

“It’s a great learning experience for the students,” he said. “The students are getting an idea how to work with kids, and for the kids in general getting the work done.  All of the ones I’ve seen have been really good kids.”

Allan said one of the benefits is teaching the children who come in about good dental hygiene.

“I think it’s very important to have young kids understand what causes cavities, how to stop cavities, so they don’t have to come in and get fillings done, or teeth taken out or those types of things,” he said.

Allan said he is grateful for the opportunity to help those in the community who might not otherwise have access to proper dental care.  

The organization is accepting donations in preparation for next year’s event. Find more information about the program by clicking here.