The Free Extraction Day sponsored by the Dental Hygiene Clinic at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith has been rescheduled for March 15.
The event, which was originally planned for December and cancelled due to inclement weather, allows members of the Fort Smith community to have a tooth pulled for free. Hours are 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the clinic, which is located in the Pendergraft Health Sciences Center on Waldron Road.
Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis and should bring a list of medications they are taking.
The event’s funding comes mainly from a grant from Delta Dental. This is the second year for Delta Dental to provide financial assistance. Supplies have also been donated by area dentists and dental supply companies. All dentists, assistants, hygienists, students and faculty donate their time.
Pam Davidson of Greenwood, executive director of the UAFS dental hygiene program, said the event is both a community service project and a learning experience for UAFS students.
“Many of the patients we see have limited access to care,” she said, “and we feel this is a great way to give back to the community. Students can apply what they have learned in the program and also get to work with area dentists, assistants and dental hygienists.”
Second-year students provide local anesthesia and assist dentists during the extraction process. First-year students take care of all sterilization of instruments and dental operatories.
UAFS offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene and will begin offering a bachelor’s degree beginning in August 2014. The dental clinic is operated as part of the teaching environment and provides dental services to the public, including exams, cleaning, x-rays and fluoride treatment.
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