The UCSD Pre-Dental Society (PDS) and Student-Run Free Dental Clinic Project, in partnership with the community, provide accessible, quality healthcare for the underserved in a respectful environment in which students, health professionals, patients, and community members learn from one another.
Commitment to the Community
The UCSD Student-Run Free Dental Clinics play an important role in offering health care and providing an avenue for access-to-care to those who are low income, uninsured, and/or homeless. A team of volunteering pre-dental students, dentists, and other volunteers work together to provide comprehensive care to our patients. We work closely with medical, pharmacy, legal, acupuncture, and social workers to improve overall health and livelihood.
However, due to the overwhelming number of patients in need, we currently are not accepting new patients for comprehensive care, and instead work with existing medical patients of the UCSD Free Clinic Project.
We have an emergency clinic on Wednesday at our Pacific Beach location. For more information, please visit our clinics page. Additionally, please look at other low-income clinics for possible treatment options.
Commitment to Education
One of the first steps in preventing dental infections and caries is through proper oral hygiene and understanding the importance of oral health. We strive to educate all our patients on proper techniques on brushing and flossing, and raising awareness of oral health topics and nutrition. One of our programs is the Dental Health Ambassadors, or DHA program, that works in conjunction with Share the Care Dental Initiative of San Diego County, where we aim to improve the lives of children through preventive education.
Exposing Our Members to the Field of Dentistry
The UCSD PDS exposes students to many different aspects of the dental profession. Participants interact with volunteer dentists, hygienists, and other dental professionals constantly. They witness and assist in different dental procedures and techniques performed at our clinics, and learn the importance of volunteering their time and services to give back to the community. If you would like to get involved, please visit our page on how to volunteer, and sign up for our email list to hear about volunteer opportunities.
In addition to our weekly general body meetings, we also have special speaker sessions on Thursday evenings. Special speakers include Deans of graduate dental programs, dental specialists from the community, and others who have a unique insight and experience that can guide our students on their desired career paths. For a schedule of our special speakers, please take a look at the event calendar.
The students involved with this tremendous project have various future plans to facilitate outreach programs that will educate young men and women about career options in dentistry. One such goal is to involve and inspire students from not just the undergraduate level, but the high school level, opening the doors of possibility into a profession in dentistry.