Dentistry SHARING Clinic provides free dental care

by Sydnie Hochstein, UNMC College of Dentistry | April 24, 2018

Image with caption: Shawna Smith receives dental care from Alaina Allen, D4, left, and Zachary Reierson, D2, right, dental students at the UNMC College of Dentistry. (Photo by Peggy Cain)

Shawna Smith receives dental care from Alaina Allen, D4, left, and Zachary Reierson, D2, right, dental students at the UNMC College of Dentistry. (Photo by Peggy Cain)

In search of somewhere that would help her get the dental care she desperately needed, Shawna Smith wrote to many different dental offices, eventually emailing several different departments at the UNMC College of Dentistry.

Smith struggled with gingivitis and had several broken teeth.

"I have really bad toothaches that keep me up all night," she said. "I have one that's broken off that cuts into my tongue every time I talk."

Luckily, she said, David Brown, Ph.D., professor of oral biology and outreach coordinator, answered her plea. He contacted her and suggested she attend the college's biannual dental SHARING Clinic, held the evening of April 5 at the College of Dentistry in Lincoln.

She made the 100-mile drive from her home in Wood River, Neb., and was grateful to receive care from faculty, staff and students at the college who volunteer their time and expertise. She had several teeth extracted, in hopes of relieving some of her pain.

She is one of 51 patients at the SHARING Clinic who received free dental care, including extractions, fillings and cleanings.

The college delivered about $20,000 in free services to patients from Lincoln, Omaha, York, Beatrice, Norfolk and surrounding areas.

"I'm just really thankful," Smith said.

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