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USC Starts Free Dental Care for Low-Income Students

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The University of South California dentists are quite preoccupied with community service these days as the university has taken upon itself to treat low-income students.

University’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry kick-started its two-year project to provide free dental care to hundreds of students and their family members on October 20.

In partnership with California Resources Corporation (CRC), the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the university is organizing various mobile dental clinics and establishing stationary clinics and enlarging the reach to the target population through community partnerships.

“No child should ever have to go without dental care,” Ostrow Dean Avishai Sadan said. “Providing treatment to underserved populations is one of the most powerful ways that dental professionals can help bridge the gap to dental healthcare, which is why community outreach has long been one of the basic tenets of an Ostrow dental education.”

According to a study conducted by the Ostrow in 2012, there are 16,000 absences a year at LAUSD schools due to dental-related problems that affect students’ performance at school.

“A child should not have to go to school in pain and be expected to reach their full educational potential,” said Sanaz Fereshteh, USC Mobile Clinic Director. “I have spent the past 10 years working on children in dire need for dental care, and it has led me to this incredible mobile clinic that brings the solution to the child.”

Last year, the university provided free dental care to more than 130 students low-income elementary school students in Kern County.

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