February 7, 2020
It’s the 10th year for Give Kids A Smile (GKAS)! Over 150 community volunteers, including Lanier Technical College’s Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene students and staff, came together at Lanier Tech’s state-of-the-art dental facilities to provide free dental treatment for over 150 kids in the community. The all-day affair was focused on improving a young person’s smile.
GKAS brings caring dental professionals, volunteers and organizations together for the purpose of delivering free, quality dental services and oral health education to local children in need. The children received basic cleanings and some even got fillings or other needed treatment.
Dr. David Byers, Lanier Technical College’s Program Director for Dental Hygiene, said “Give Kid’s a Smile is a great event where we get to bring the dental community together with the purpose of helping some kids receive dental care they might not be able to get otherwise. We always have a lot a fun, and we hope every child gets to leave with a bright new smile!”
Lanier Tech’s Hall Campus had three waiting rooms, one on each floor of the James A. Walters Allied Healthcare Building. Students from Eagle Ranch greatly helped in the waiting rooms by playing with the young patients before their procedures.
Liza Charlton, Dental Assisting Program Director for Lanier Technical College, noted that, “The annual Give Kids a Smile event is a wonderful way to involve students in an outreach event that serves children in our community. Lanier Tech is fortunate to have this opportunity, which engages our students in helping children to not only improve their smiles but to improve their overall oral health.”
The young patients ushered in small groups into Lanier Tech’s clinic area. First up was radiographs for the patients, and then the patients moved to a restorative chair for treatment or to a hygiene chair for a cleaning or further analysis.
Each year during National Children’s Dental Health Month, which is February, similar events are held simultaneously in cities across the country. Since the inception of this national effort, more than 5 million underserved children have received care.