Check out a few of the ways the UNC Adams School of Dentistry gives back to the local community.

Give Kids A Smile

Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS) is a day set aside to provide free dental care, health education and activities for children in communities across the country.

The American Dental Association estimates that 450,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events, made possible by the efforts of more than 40,000 volunteers annually.

The Adams School of Dentistry holds its annual on-site Give Kids A Smile® on the first Friday in February. You may read more about this year’s GKAS efforts here.

If your child needs dental care, you may call (919) 726-8057 to schedule an appointment during the Adams School of Dentistry event. Appointments are first come, first served.

You may also visit the “Find Care” portion of the ADA’s GKAS website.

If you need more information or want to help support the Adams School of Dentistry’s GKAS event, email


In February 2015, the UNC Adams School of Dentistry lost two of its own: Deah Barakat, a member of DDS 2017, and Yusor Abu-Salha, a member of then-incoming DDS 2019.

As a way to remember and honor Deah and Yusor’s lives and love of serving their community, that fall the student body decided to dedicate a day to these same activities in the local Triangle area.

The day is named Directing Efforts And Honoring Deah And Yusor — or DEAH DAY for short. It’s designed to be a day where DDS and dental hygiene students go into the local community and spend time giving back in honor of those the school lost.

It’s a day where the Adams School of Dentistry challenges its community to “Live Like Deah.”

For a more complete look at the inaugural DEAH DAY, you may watch this video, read this article and/or look through the Facebook album.

Community-Based Service Learning

Community-based service learning allows future clinicians to witness the disproportionate burden of oral disease manifest in our state’s most vulnerable populations. Students develop experiential understanding of the environmental and social determinants that impact individual and population health. They also hone clinical skills, cultivate an ethical obligation to serve a greater good and experience the rewards of serving a diverse patient population.

The Adams School of Dentistry believes in developing a workforce that is focused on the prevention of oral disease and committed to both health equity and social justice. Exposure to these experiences may influence some students to pursue careers in these settings and for all future graduates to be community oral health leaders.

Residents in the General Practice Residency, Graduate Pediatric Dentistry, Graduate Endodontics, and Graduate Orthodontics Programs provide care for targeted at-risk populations in community-based settings including local health departments, federally qualified health centers and correctional facilities, independent from the pre-doctoral DISC program.

Dental hygiene students engage in a three-week practicum in their final semester. This takes the form of service learning supervised by community organization preceptors. This is part of a course that fulfills their experiential education requirement.