NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Saturday, hundreds of Nashvillians made their way to Meharry Medical College to get dental work done for free.
It’s been over 2 years since the HBCU hosted “Oral Health Day” due to COVID-19.
Meharry School of Dentistry and the Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services provided a wide range of dental services, including cleanings, extractions and fillings.
Meharry dental students, faculty and alumni came out in massive numbers to give back to the community.
CDC reports show that among working-age U.S. adults, over 40% of low-income and non-Hispanic Black adults have untreated tooth decay.
Roughly another 40% of adults with low income or no private health insurance have untreated cavities.
Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon, the Dean of the School of Dentistry, said they host this event to give back. She also knows this event works towards breaking down those disparities in oral healthcare.
“People of color and in underserved communities — also, poor communities — is where you see higher prevalence of not only oral disease but medical conditions as well. There are counties and communities throughout the state of Tennessee that have very little dental or have no dental care access,” Dr. Cherae Farmer-Dixon explained.
Each patient who received dental work was given electric toothbrushes to take home with them.
The next “Oral Health Day” is scheduled for March 4, 2023.