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UofL dentistry goes on the road to provide free care in Harlan County

More than 30 University of Louisville School of Dentistry faculty and students will provide free care March 23-24

More than 30 University of Louisville School of Dentistry faculty and students will help in the effort to address oral health needs of Kentuckians in Appalachia who can’t afford or easily access dental care.

University of Louisville dental and dental hygiene students and faculty will join with other dentistry professionals to provide free dental cleanings, fillings and extractions to residents in and around Harlan County, Ky. The mission is organized through Remote Area Medical (RAM), a non-profit organization that serves people in rural areas of the United States and around the world. This RAM effort also includes free eye exams, eye glasses and medical consultations.

Clinics open at 6 a.m. March 23 and March 24 and RAM organizers advise patients to arrive early. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis and lines can be long and start early in the morning. Numbers will be given out around 3:30 a.m. each day prior to the clinic opening.

The UofL School of Dentistry has been involved in RAM events since 2005. Faculty, alumni and students have volunteered their time in numerous regions including Wise, Va., Pikeville, Ky., Somerset, Ky., Bristol, Tenn., and Knoxville, Tenn.

“The dental school is making a difference throughout the state as we fulfill our mission of community engagement,” said John Sauk, DDS, MS, dean, UofL School of Dentistry. “The students gain so much from these RAM experiences – including an understanding of barriers to oral health care.”

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