Community Outreach

Contributing to world health through dentistry.

Creighton dental students make a real difference in the lives of others. Our faculty, staff and students work together to provide oral and dental health care and education in the Omaha area.

By giving of their time and talents, our students carry out the School of Dentistry mission and vision. Learn more about our current outreach programs and explore ways in which our students serve the local community.

Give Kids A Smile

For over a decade, Creighton University School of Dentistry has hosted the annual “Give Kids a Smile” event to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month. More than 120 volunteers come together each year to provide education and care for local children and families in need.

Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC)

ILAC began in the early 1970s as an immersion experience for Jesuits. Today, the ILAC dental program sends six teams of dental students and other health profession students to the Dominican Republic annually. Our teams provide sealants, extractions, fillings, cleanings, and other normal dental services to more than 1,200 patients each year.

Child Oral Health Collaborative

In partnership with Building Healthy Futures, we work with providers and cross-cultural partners in the community to improve oral health outcomes. This relationship creates a continuum of oral health care and education for underserved children and youth in the Omaha Public Schools (OPS). Initiatives led by Creighton dental school in partnership with the Child Oral Health Collaborative include Healthy Smiles and Dental Care Coordination.

Healthy Smiles is a school-based prevention program that provides dental sealants, fluoride varnish and classroom education to children in 10 low-income elementary schools in OPS. Dental students and dental hygiene students with Iowa Western Community College provide services to over 1,400 children annually in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Dental Care Coordination is available for families whose children are identified as having unmet dental needs. A dental care coordinator at Creighton School of Dentistry assists parents in reducing barriers to care such as transportation and language needs to connect them with a dental home.

Thursday Night Clinic

Twice a month, patients pre-screened at OneWorld Community Health Center and the Magis Clinic can receive treatment on Thursday evenings in the Adult Dental Clinic. Volunteer students and faculty make this service possible.

Project Homeless Connect Omaha

Creighton Dentistry employees volunteer their time to contribute over 300 – and counting – sets of dentures and acute care needs in this annual event.

Special Olympics: “Special Smiles”

In partnership with the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program, our faculty, staff and students provide non-invasive oral health screenings, dental hygiene education and nutritional counseling to scores of Nebraska’s Special Olympics athletes.

Classroom and Community Presentations

Giving back to the Omaha area community is a huge part of the School of Dentistry mission. Creighton students volunteer countless hours of their time to provide quality dental care to public schools throughout the area. They serve area schools including Omaha Public Schools. Students and faculty volunteers also provide presentations to adult groups and participate in community health fairs.

Reservation Outreach

There are over 4.5 million Native Americans in the United States, but fewer than 150 Native American dentists to serve this population. Creighton has a particular focus on recruiting Native American students. The first American Indian dentist, George Blue Spruce, DDS, MPH, graduated from Creighton University School of Dentistry in 1956.

In partnership with Rosebud Indian Reservation home to St. Francis Mission in St. Francis, South Dakota, Creighton dental students travel to their dental clinic to provide much-needed care to the people of Rosebud, where access is limited.

Senior Service-Learning Program

The Senior Service-Learning Program is offered in partnership with Charles Drew Health Center, Fred LeRoy Health and Wellness Center, and OneWorld Community Health Centers. Each senior dental student spends two weeks providing dental care at a local public clinic. Basic preventive, restorative, diagnostic and surgical care provided by the students increases the capacity of the dental safety net in Omaha.

Exploring Dentistry Program

This 10-week program is targeted for high school students who have expressed an interest in dentistry. Each session focuses on a different aspect of dentistry with specialist presentations and hands-on projects. Over 400 students learn more about the profession from us each year.

For more information, contact Joseph Franco, DDS, assistant professor of diagnostic sciences, at josephfranco [at] creighton [dot] edu.