GKAS-UNCThe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry hosted the American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation’s 2019 Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) national kickoff event on February 1, 2019. About 200 local children were expected to receive free dental exams, cleanings, fillings, crowns, extractions, fluoride, sealants, x-rays, and oral health education.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our school to passionately serve our people, field, and community by providing oral health care to an underserved population,” said Dean Scott De Rossi, DMD, MBA. “Our students, residents, faculty, and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that each child and their family has a terrific experience at Give Kids A Smile. I’m extremely proud of all of them for their dedication to making this event a success.”

More than 5.5 million children have received free oral health services through Give Kids A Smile since the program’s inception in 2003. In 2019, more than 300,000 children in need across the United States will receive free oral health services, including oral health education, screening, preventive care, and in some cases, restorative treatment. About 6,300 volunteer dentists and 57,000 other dental team and community volunteers at more than 1,400 GKAS events make this possible. GKAS events range from those that provide services to hundreds of children in a day, to individual dentists providing pro-bono oral health services and a dental home to one or several children under the GKAS banner.

“Give Kids A Smile is a clear demonstration of the positive outcome of all aspects of the profession working together,” said William R. Calnon, DDS, president of the ADA Foundation. “North Carolina University’s 2019 Give Kids A Smile program is a perfect example of volunteers using skills and talents to generate better health outcomes for kids. We admire the obvious passion in this project.”

The national kickoff event is sponsored by Henry Schein Inc, Colgate, and KaVo Kerr.