PHILADELPHIA â€” The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine will partner with the Academy of General Dentistry and the AGD Foundation to hold a community outreach project June 23, â€śNation of Smiles, One Smile at a Time.â€ť The event will be held during the AGD 2012 Annual Meeting & Exhibits.
Hundreds of volunteer dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and Penn Dental Medicine students and faculty will provide free dental care to more than 500 Philadelphia residents.
Patients will be pre-selected from shelters, clinics and charities. This event is closed to the public.
â€śPenn Dental Medicine plays a vital role in the delivery of oral health care at reduced costs to the West Philadelphia community. Unfortunately, our capacity to deliver this care is limited, and many of our neighbors do not have any access to oral health care,â€ť Heywood Kotch, assistant dean of clinical operations, said. â€śThis day of outreach allows Penn to join forces with the AGD to highlight this dire need and to provide free care to a portion of our most needy neighbors.â€ť
At the AGD 2011 event in San Diego, AGD volunteers provided care to homeless veterans; the value of the provided oral health care services was approximately $80,000, or $625 per patient. In 2010, at the AGDâ€™s first outreach event in New Orleans, AGD volunteers provided nearly $100,000 in free oral care to approximately 180 underserved area residents.
â€śFor the past three years, weâ€™ve offered an outreach project to coincide with the location of our annual meeting in order to give back to the community,â€ť AGD President Howard Gamble said. â€śIt is an honor for our association to serve residents of Philadelphia by providing the oral care that these individuals so desperately need.â€ť
The June 23 Philadelphia event will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Penn Dental Medicine, 240 S. 40th St.