The College of Dentistry is one of the largest providers of low cost dental care to Florida’s indigent residents: more than 70 percent of the college’s patients meet federal low income guidelines. Dental care at our student clinic costs 30-50% less than private practice.
In addition to providing reduced-fee care in its student clinics, the College hosts several other community outreach programs in the areas of patient care, education and research, as well as holding fundraisers to benefit charity organizations.
The college participates each year in the UF Campaign for Charities (formerly the UF Community Campaign). Past activities have included a silent auction, dunking booth and used book and media sale.
Wish Upon a Star
The College of Dentistry works with the Partnership for Strong Families during the holiday season to help sponsor holiday gifts for children in our community. Holiday Giving Trees are set up in the college, each decorated with stars that list a child’s name, age, clothing sizes and their three wishes for holiday gifts. Individuals or groups can select a star to sponsor a child and purchase gifts for him or her.
The College of Dentistry is a repeat fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. In 2011′s UF Relay for Life event, D.M.D. students raised more than $1,000 in donations as well as offering free oral cancer screenings for attendees. In 2009, six College of Dentistry faculty and students raised almost $20,000 by committing to having their heads shaved if certain fundraising levels were met.
“We Care” Clinic
The Alachua County Health Department runs the “We Care” clinic at Santa Fe College with support from the Alachua County Dental Society. College of Dentistry students and faculty members volunteer to provide treatment to low-income Alachua County residents.
Pediatric Dental Care
Pediatric dentistry faculty, residents and staff provide dental care to low-income and disabled patients at:
- The ACORN clinic (Brooker)
- The Florida School for Deaf and Blind (St. Augustine)
- The dental clinic at Tacachale, a state-operated residential facility for disabled people
The College of Dentistry has established ongoing partnerships with Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Quito, Ecuador and Universidad Catolica Nordestana (UCNE) in San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic, to sponsor international service trips and student exchanges. During college breaks, dental students travel to provide much-needed oral care to underserved patients in these countries and other locations.
In August 2011, a team of dentists and students traveled to Ecuador. The group traveled to various sites around the country, usually health clinics or schools, to provide dental care. They saw almost 300 patients, two-thirds of whom were children. Many had rampant dental decay and were in severe pain. These service trips not only allow people with very little access to health care to see a dentist; they give dental students an opportunity to give of themselves.
The Summer Learning Program is sponsored by the College of Dentistry. It allows disadvantaged and minority undergraduates to spend two weeks being introduced to the profession of dentistry, lab and patient care techniques, and the UFCD admissions process. Students have the opportunity to network with dental faculty and students, and housing and meals are provided free.
SNDA Impressions Program
The Impressions program is a one-day program of activities sponsored by the Student National Dental Association. Its mission is to expose underrepresented pre-dental students to careers in dentistry and to the application and financial aid process, making participants stronger dental school applicants.