Dental students serve community

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College of Dentistry members provide free oral surgery for patients in Grand Island. Back row from left: Dr. David Brown, Dr. Kim McFarland, Jason Jones, David Montgomery and Rick Sherman. Front row from left: Stephanie Genrich, Dr. Charles Genrich, Michael Duffy, Thao Dao, Dan Tylka and Missy Moutray.
Educating the next generation of dentists and providing care to the underserved go hand-in-hand at the UNMC College of Dentistry.

"There are many opportunities throughout the year for students and residents to give back," said David Brown, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Dentistry.

On Oct. 9, 26 children from the Educare program at Kellom Academy came to the UNMC Pediatric Dental Clinic in Omaha for cleanings and sealants. The screenings are part of an ongoing collaboration UNMC has with Educare to provide basic health services and education for children enrolled at the early childhood center.

On Oct. 10, three faculty and nine students from the UNMC College of Dentistry in Lincoln, traveled to Grand Island to provide free oral surgery for patients who lack access to dental care. They treated 43 patients and extracted 80 teeth.

"That weekend demonstrates the valuable service provided regularly through the Dental Sharing Clinic, Children's Dental Days and the numerous other clinics to which our students, faculty and staff give," Dr. Brown said.

The community service project was organized in cooperation with Third City Community Clinic, which is managed by Sue Aguilar. David Lofgreen, D.D.S., an alumnus of the UNMC College of Dentistry, volunteered his clinic for the day.

"Dr. Lofgreen provided his state-of-the-art clinic and 10 dental chairs for our use and we provided the dental students, dentists and surgery instruments needed for the clinic," said Kim McFarland, D.D.S., assistant professor of oral biology at the UNMC College of Dentistry.

The Third City clinic identified the local patients who needed care and took the necessary X-rays in advance, she said.