UofL dentistry heads to northeastern Kentucky to provide free dental care

Pikeville RAM - 2010After helping provide 4,500 free dental services through Remote Area Medical (RAM) missions over the last five years in eastern and southern Kentucky, University of Louisville dental and dental hygiene students and faculty will provide free dental cleanings, fillings, extractions, and denture relines and repairs at the Greenup County RAM clinic June 22 and June 23, 2013.

Remote Area Medical (RAM) is a non-profit organization that serves people in rural areas of the United States and around the world.

The University of Louisville School of Dentistry will join area doctors, nurses, dentists and dental hygienists, as well as local social service volunteers and churches. AT&T has contributed $10,000 to help pay for a variety of costs.

Cassie Mace, local event coordinator for the RAM Kentucky clinic in Greenup County expressed appreciation. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of these events, and we want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make the RAM clinic in Greenup County a reality.”

Mace also thanked Rep. Tanya Pullin for her dedication to help bring excellent health care to the local area.

Organizers expect more than 1,000 people to receive free dental, vision and general medical care over the two day period. There are no eligibility requirements for patients, and no health insurance information is requested.

Located at the Greenup County High School, clinics open at 6 a.m. both days. RAM organizers advise patients to arrive early. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. 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 dental school is making a difference throughout the state as we fulfill our mission of community engagement,” said John Sauk, DDS, MS, dean of the UofL School of Dentistry.“The students gain so much from these RAM experiences – including an understanding of barriers to oral health care.”

Since 2008, the UofL School of Dentistry has helped provide 4,500 dental services to residents in and around Pikeville, Somerset, Knott County, Letcher County and Harlan County.