ASDA members can help bring healthier and happier smiles to children in the community by volunteering with Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) Dental Van program. BSBF invites members to volunteer by improving a smile, child by child, while having a rewarding hands-on community experience.
In the operatory where I work hangs a sign that reads “Welcome Home.” It hangs among a wall of photos — most of them black and white — of men and women dressed in uniform (some more casually), standing on warships or next to aircrafts. I work as a general dentist at the outpatient Veterans Affairs (VA) dental clinic in Chico, California. Many of my patients like to add their photos from their time of service to our decorated wall. For them, sharing photos is their way of sharing their stories.
This past fall, our Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) ASDA chapter partnered with our local Ronald McDonald House to serve families who are displaced while their seriously ill or injured child receives care at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. We helped provide home-cooked meals for families on a monthly basis, interacting with them and spreading information about our resources at IUSD, which is located across the street. These dinners also served as a time for the family members to share their child’s story and connect with other parents who may be going through similar experiences.
Outreach starts with you. Students champion a wide number of service efforts that improve the oral and overall health of the underserved. But translating these programs into private practice, as new dentists in a new community, can feel daunting or unfeasible. During dental school, we helped grow Nova Southeastern University’s …
To kick off ASDA’s Week of Service, we are highlighting the achievements of the 2017 Dentistry in the Community grant recipients. In February 2017, five chapters were awarded $500 each to develop and implement a program or event that focuses on the prevention of dental disease and/or the promotion of oral health for any underserved population within their community. Here, we’re highlighting each of those events.
To make the most of your dental education, collaborating with community outreach opportunities is essential. Get out of your comfort zone to learn about issues impacting your communities, while gaining clinical and interprofessional skills.