Student fundraiser shines for Dentistry For All

(Edmonton) Dental and dental-hygiene students at the University of Alberta are thinking about the oral health of people living a world away.

The Dentistry Students' Association is hosting a fundraiser for the Canadian-based volunteer organization, Dentistry for All. The organization provides free dental care to patients, who do not have access to a dentist, in impoverished countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Philippines.

"Dentistry For All provides them with dental treatment and dental education," said Dave Leoni, a second-year dental student who is on the organizing committee. "Otherwise these patients are pulling their own teeth."

Since its inception, Dentistry for All has served on 30 different missions and treated 12,000 people in those regions.

The fundraiser, the Dentistry Students' Association Charity Ball, is a dinner, dance and fashion show on Saturday, Jan. 22. Part of the money from ticket sales goes toward the organization. They're also raising money through sponsorships, including a major donation from Kingsway Oral Health. The group has already raised $15,000.

"We're already beyond what we were hoping to raise," said Leoni. "Being the inaugural year really no one had any idea what amount of money would be realistic."

This is the inaugural ball, but it's hoped this will become an annual event.

"This year the DSA was looking for a legacy to leave behind," said Leoni. "We want to turn this dentistry winter gala in to a yearly event where we choose a charity of the DSA's choice and put on an event."

Anyone wanting to support the initiative is asked to visit the Dentistry for All website and make a donation on behalf of the Dentistry Students' Association at the U of A.

If you would like to make a tax deductible gift in support of the Department of Dentistry, please click here.