Community Outreach

UNLV School of Dental Medicine has led community outreach programs since its inception, beginning with Crackdown on Cancer, a tobacco prevention education program that provided full head, neck, and intraoral examinations to more than 78,000 Nevada high school students in nearly every county between 2001 and 2010.

The school also hosts multiple philanthropy-supported on-site, free, community outreach clinics each year dedicated to children, homeless persons, veterans, women and children who are victims of domestic violence, those re-entering the workforce, and those with special needs.

Between 2011 and 2019, the school delivered approximately $5.1 million in free care to more than 20,000 Nevadans through its community outreach initiatives, and more than $3.5 million in free care through its on-site clinics.

Community Outreach Programs

Crackdown on Cancer

The tobacco prevention education program provided information about the harmful effects of tobacco products to more than 170,000 middle school and high school students throughout Nevada. More than 78,000 high school students within 16 of the state’s 17 counties also received complimentary oral cancer screenings during the program’s nine-years.

Seal Nevada South

The program offers oral health education, oral hygiene instruction, oral health screenings, dental sealants and fluoride varnish to second- and third-grade students at underprivileged schools. Many of the children seen in this program have never seen a dentist because they lack healthcare insurance coverage, or a means to pay for services elsewhere. Between 2012 and 2019, more than 3,600 students received screenings, oral hygiene instruction, and fluoride varnish.

Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project

This outreach aims to reduce the incidence of cavities among children by the time they reach kindergarten through an evidence-based prevention program that includes dental screenings, fluoride varnish, risk assessments, family engagement, and targeted case management. More than 7,000 children enrolled in Early Head Start and Head Start Centers throughout Nevada received screenings between 2017 and 2020.

Oral Health Presentations

The school has provided oral health and nutrition presentations to more than 160,000 elementary students within the Clark County School District (CCSD) since 2002. Dental students prepare and lead the presentations, which address proper brushing, flossing, and food choices, as part of a required course taken during their first year. This outreach has visited an average of 42 CCSD schools each year for the past five years.

Community Outreach Clinics

Sgt. Clint Ferrin Memorial Clinic

Student John Ferrin started the clinic in 2007 in memory of his brother, Sgt. Clint Ferrin, to serve the needs of veterans who have zero insurance coverage, and earn less than $25,000 per year. The School of Dental Medicine hosts the Sgt. Clint Ferrin Memorial Clinic eight or nine times each year and provided free treatment to more than 500 veterans.

Women’s Clinic

The Women’s Clinic provides free dental care to domestic violence victims within the Las Vegas area. Patients for this clinic are temporary residents at various protective shelters. The American Association of Women Dentists and our faculty volunteer six times a year.

UNLV Absolute Dental Children's Clinic

The clinic was started to offer follow-up care to underserved children who benefitted from Give Kids a Smile. The student-run clinic, which is held nine times a year, provides services for children ages five to 14. To date, the clinic has administered more than $185,000 worth of free care.

Smile Dental Clinic

The Smile Dental Clinic provides dental care to uninsured and at-risk adolescents and homeless adults who are unable to obtain state services. Each year, our faculty and students provide dental treatment to more than 1,000 at-risk youth and 200 homeless adults.

Children’s Dental Prevention Clinic

UNLV School of Dental Medicine and LIBERTY Dental Plan of Nevada joined to create a children’s dental prevention clinic that provides free preventive oral health services to children throughout southern Nevada. The prevention clinic is similar to the Clark County School District’s school-based sealant program, which was closed for the school year due to the pandemic.