Hundreds of children received free dental care today at UNL East Campus

Posted By: Jason Taylor

LINCOLN, Neb. Today was the annual "Children’s Dental Day" which is hosted by UNMC’s College of Dentistry and for some families this is a big deal.

Dr. David Brown from UNMC’s College of Dentistry says they’ve held Children’s Dental Day on the first Friday of February since 2001. Children from around eastern Nebraska come to the college’s dental facility where faculty and students spend a day providing free dental cleanings, extractions, fillings and root canals. He says this is the college’s way of participating in community service and community learning.

"It’s very important because it’s part of a philosophy of giving back to the community and being involved in the community." Said Dr. David Brown, College of Dentistry at UNMC

Dr. Brown says many of these children are from the ages of 4 to 15 and are not typically able to see the dentist.

"It could be transportation, it could be finances, it could be that there’s not a dentist in the neighborhood that will see them. There’s a lot of reasons they are underserved." Dr. Brown said

Daniel Hawker drove in his son all the way from Hastings for this. He says they don’t have dental insurance and so it’s hard to get his teeth looked at.

"I think it’s great. It offers us an opportunity to get work done that we can’t afford with not having dental insurance. So, it definitely opened our eyes to an opportunity that we didn’t have before." Said Daniel Hawker, Father of a 7 year old

After receiving dental treatment the kids had a chance to play fun educational games on keeping healthy teeth. Dr. Brown says the students put a lot of effort into this day.

"So most of it is actually being done by our fourth year dental students who will be graduating in a couple of months." Dr. Brown said

The College of Dentistry also has a children’s dental day every year in June in the panhandle of the state. Dr. Brown says they even see a bigger turn out there.