Video: Giving seniors a reason to smile
What if every senior citizen had access to quality oral health care? What if we could remove the fear of going to the dentist for this population? At Texas A&M College of Dentistry, we are working to make these goals come true. While treatment is provided to seniors at our community clinics through a City of Dallas grant, additional care is given on the volunteer front through initiatives such as “Give Seniors a Smile,” headed by Dr. Helena Tapias, associate professor in restorative sciences. This community outreach project is part of a partnership with North Texas Hispanic Dental Association, and as such, members of the College of Dentistry’s Hispanic Student Dental Association chapter, like its president John Ratliff, a third-year dental student, have ample opportunity to get involved.
Rebuilding lives by restoring smiles doesn’t just help students to become better clinicians, it also creates ambassadors, like Maria Soria, who spread the word to other seniors in need of dental care.
Care is provided at North Dallas Shared Ministries and Agape Clinic as part of the college’s community-based clinical rotations, and residents of Dallas’ Notre Dame Court and Notre Dame Place are beneficiaries of the students’ volunteer efforts.