Nearly 500 kids get free dental care

Posted: Updated:
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson
By Lindsay Robinson By Lindsay Robinson

MESA, Ariz. -- About 500 kids are getting free dental care today, and for many of them it's the only time they'll get to see a dentist. Selected, pre-screened, and bused in, these kids are ready to have their mouth looked at by dental students at A.T. Still University's Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health in Mesa.

"Two years ago, we did it for my daughter," parent Jessica Brown said. "We have medical insurance, but we don't have dental, so it definitely helps out."

The annual Give Kids a Smile event in Mesa allows Brown and hundreds of other parents to get their kids checked out for free. A.T. Still University's Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, in partnership with the Arizona Dental Foundation, will provide dental services including cleanings, sealants, fillings and extractions.

Care will be delivered at no charge by dental students, faculty and community volunteer dentists. Children will arrive by bus at 8 a.m. and will receive care until 1:30 p.m.

Give Kids a Smile is a national program launched in 2003 by the American Dental Association as a way for dentists across the country to join with others in their community to provide dental services to children.

This is the program's tenth year, and each year more and more kids get signed up for a sparkling smile. The dental students make it fun by dressing up.

"They like to keep it low key for the kids," said Nick Salava from A.T. Still University. "There's a lot going on here that can be intimidating, we just want them to be calm and enjoy themselves."

In addition to Friday’s program, the school offers discounted dental care, and you don't have to have insurance. If this is something you'd like to do, you can call their dental clinic at A.T. Still University.

 

A.T. Still University
5855 E. Still Circle in Mesa