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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Some of our frequently asked questions include:

My tooth hurts badly. Can I be seen for emergency care?

For emergencies, please go to your nearest Emergency Room or local dentist office. If you wish to be treated at the UNLV School of Dental Medicine Urgent Care Clinic, please call 702-774-2457, Monday through Friday.

What if I don’t meet the requirements or get accepted?

You can be screened to become a patient during regular business hours at the school. Please contact our registration office at 702-774-2400, Monday through Friday. UNLV School of Dental Medicine fees are typically less than local private practices.

How much do treatments cost at this clinic?

Treatments at this clinic are complimentary.

Can I get all of my dental care needs done for free?

The Sgt. Clint Ferrin Memorial Clinic is for urgent care and restoring oral health. If further treatment is deemed necessary, options will be discussed. However, due to the ever-growing waiting list, we must limit the number of treatments patients receive.

Can I get free implants, veneers, or other cosmetic dentistry for free?

No. The purpose of this clinic is to help restore our veterans’ oral health. Please apply to become a regular patient at the UNLV School of Dental Medicine, or see a local dentist for cosmetic dentistry.

Is my spouse eligible for free dental treatment?

No. Complimentary treatment at this clinic is for our veterans’ oral healthcare needs.

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.

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.

The Smiles 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.