Outreach Spotlights: Children's dental day, 'Biggest smile' award

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Children's Dental Day draws big (healthy) smiles

The 37th annual Children's Dental Day was held on March 6. The College of Dentistry community came together to provide much-needed dental care to 218 children from communities across Nebraska, making it the largest Children's Dental Day the college has held in 10+ years. 

The children are identified and prescreened by volunteers in their communities, including UNMC College of Dentistry alumni. Many of these volunteers attend the event with the children to provide emotional support.

"You did a really good job taking care of my teeth. Thank you, I'm smiling big now!" - Alonzo, Fremont, Patient
 
"I have a big family and can't afford dental care for all my children. Without this service, my children wouldn't get all the care they need. I can't thank the students and all the volunteers enough. This is truly a blessing." - Heather McBright, Lincoln, Parent
 
"I've been bringing children to this event for years. If it wasn't for Dental Day, these children probably wouldn't receive dental care. I am so appreciative of everything everyone does to make this possible. It is always such a good experience for the children." - Dr. Kristin Schroeder, Good Neighbor Community Center, Fremont, Community Supporter
 

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College of Dentistry receives 'Biggest Smile' award from Nebraska Mission of Mercy

In February, the College of Dentistry received recognition from Nebraska Mission of Mercy, a program that provides care to the uninsured, the underinsured and anyone who has difficulty getting to a dentist.

"We are very proud to give our 'Biggest Smile' award to the UNMC College of Dentistry for their outstanding contributions and care during the 2019 Nebraska Mission of Mercy. They helped provide care to many children and adults who desperately needed it and made a profound difference in their lives," said event chair Bruce Kuhn, DDS, MD, a 1983 alum of the UNMC College of Dentistry.

During the 2019 event, more than 60 volunteers from the college, including dental and dental hygiene students, faculty, residents, staff and alumni, helped provide $957,000 worth of dental services to more than 1,350 patients at the UNMC College of Dentistry Pediatric Dental Clinic at Children's Hospital & Medical Center and Brownell Talbot School in Omaha.

"The Nebraska Mission of Mercy experience is always a highlight for students. I met dental professionals from across the state who donated their time to make a difference. I know I will participate in the future," said Corinne Van Osdel, DDS, postgraduate resident.


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Students receive special thank you from second grade class

The second grade class at Hill Elementary in Lincoln gave Dillon Arens and Zachary Berg, first-year dental students, a very special book full of thank you notes for teaching them how to keep their smiles healthy, including how to brush their teeth to get the 'sugar bugs' out and what dentists do.

Dillon and Zachary said, "This is really awesome. We're so happy the students got a lot out of our presentation."