The School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provided more than $60,000 in free dental care services to 16 N.C. residents during this year’s Denture Week, this year held April 7-11, 2014. The event was held in honor of National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, which is sponsored annually by the American College of Prosthodontists.
“Since 2011, we have celebrated National Prosthodontics Awareness Week by providing dentures to the neediest persons in our community,” explained Dr. Lyndon Cooper, director of the graduate prosthodontics program, who spearheaded this year’s event. “It’s grown to be a perfect combination of community engagement and education. Our graduate students learned directly from these dear people what it means to be without teeth in a community that values a smile. They also learn how important prosthodontic care is when they provide healthy smiles for these folks. And along the way, denture week permits them the rare opportunity to focus intensely on just one aspect of prosthodontics by providing care to those who otherwise would never receive it. We all emerge better clinicians in so many ways.”
The treatment was provided by nine UNC School of Dentistry prosthodontic residents. Upper and lower dentures were made for each of the participants. Both the clinical and the laboratory procedures were provided by the graduate students. All services are provided to the patients free of charge and are managed at the school.
The Department of Prosthodontics holds Denture Week at the school annually to benefit patients in need of treatment. Next year’s event will again coincide with the American College of Prosthodontists’ 2015 celebration of National Prosthodontics Awareness Week