Double-duty day

Students swap free time for action-packed community outreach
November 7th, 2019
Student shows dental teaching toys at Miles for Smiles runathon

D3 Tania Ramezani headed to the park for the 11th Annual Miles for Smiles runathon.

It was a Saturday for service as not one but two events, Miles for Smiles and Cleaning & Sealant Day, occurred simultaneously on Nov. 2.

Starting bright and early at Dallas’ Exall Park, the annual Miles for Smiles fun run brought in at least 15 Texas A&M College of Dentistry students, 50-plus predental students, numerous runners/walkers and five dogs. About $7,500 was raised, with matching funds possibly more than doubling that total, says Nadia Najafi, a predental student with the University of Texas at Dallas Predental Association. All funds raised go toward dental care for patients who can’t afford it. Predental students from the University of Texas at Arlington, Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas also helped.

Just a few blocks away, the Asian-American Dental Society’s biannual Cleaning & Sealant Day was booked solid. An estimated 85 patients received free teeth cleanings, and 155 sealants were applied, says Dr. Vonica Chau, clinical assistant professor, comprehensive dentistry.

Students in clinic with young patients receiving sealants

Graduate student Anthony Ngo (left) and D3 Josh Way offered pediatric dental care at Sealant & Cleaning Day.

— Kathleen Green Pothier