Media Contacts

Alex Steele

Communications Specialist, School of Dentistry, University of Utah Health
Phone: 801-662-9757

Feb 22, 2019 10:00 AM


WHAT:  The University of Utah School of Dentistry and partners will provide no-cost dental care for 400 children as part of the American Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile” program.

WHERE: University of Utah School of Dentistry, 530 South Wakara Way

WHEN:  Saturday, February 23rd 8 am -2 pm.

WHY:  Give Kids A Smile, a national program launched in 2003 by the American Dental Association (ADA), provides no-cost care for thousands of children at hundreds of locations nationwide. There are a number of Give Kids A Smile events held throughout Utah, including Salt Lake City. The University of Utah School of Dentistry is the new, permanent home for the annual Salt Lake City event.

The 2019 event will provide treatment to 400 children who have been screened and qualified prior to the event. The 400 children will be brought in by partnering organizations in the Salt Lake Valley, including the Health Access Project and the Intercity Mission. 

Although the School of Dentistry clinic has 60 chairs, providers need to work quickly and efficiently to see all 400 children by day’s end. Everyone who participates in the program volunteers their time and talent on a Saturday to help provide care to kids who otherwise would not have access.

Dr. Jim Williamson, co-founder and co-chair of the event, wants to keep the event as easy as possible for volunteer dentists. “The goal is to allow volunteer dentists and hygienists to focus on what they do best – provide care.  To enable this, the Give Kids A Smile event needs resources like funding to procure equipment and supplies. The School of Dentistry stepped up to this challenge by offering the use of their clinic space and equipment for the event,” Dr. Williamson said. 

The need for care is high around the state, more so in the heavily-populated Salt Lake region. As such, it is the largest Give Kids A Smile event in Utah. Approximately $200,000 in services is provided at no cost to patients at the annual event. People interested in providing support to this event can contact the University of Utah School of Dentistry for giving opportunities.

dentistry oral health community