The Dental Student Health Action Coalition (Dental SHAC), a student-run free dental clinic at the UNC-CH School of Dentistry, remained active during the summer class session and provided close to $19,000 in free dental care to patients from the Chapel Hill/Carrboro community.
“Since Dental SHAC is the only free dental clinic in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, we have the opportunity to provide dental care to members of our own community who really need it,” said Sonam Shah, D.D.S. Candidate 2014.
The nearly $19,000 of free dental care was provided in the form of screenings, cleanings, extractions and fillings to approximately 100 patients. A group of dental students, overseen by school faculty and residents, delivered the treatments over the course of five Wednesday nights during the summer dental school session.
“Knowing that we, as students, can positively impact the oral health of so many patients in such a short amount of time is remarkable,” said Liz Consky, D.D.S. Candidate 2014. “We’re so glad that Dental SHAC affords us the chance to provide basic dental care cost-free to those in need.”
When school is in session, Dental SHAC operates for 10 Wednesday night sessions, all of which run from 6 – 9 p.m. Patients are selected from those in attendance at 6 p.m. in the form of a lottery. Currently, the clinic is housed in Tarrson Hall at the UNC School of Dentistry.
“Being a part of in Dental SHAC is a wonderful experience,” said Bryan Whitecotton, D.D.S. Candidate 2014. “I can speak for everyone involved with Dental SHAC when I say that we think this is one of the most important and rewarding things we participate in.”
Other health professional students on the UNC campus, including medical students, oversee other SHAC clinics set up in the same model. For more information on how to become a patient at Dental SHAC, visit http://www.med.unc.edu/shac/patients/Dental-SHAC. The clinic will begin seeing patients again in August when classes resume in the fall.