A student dentist takes care of a patient during Meharry Medical College’s Oral Health Day in 2019.

NASHVILLE, TN — Meharry, in collaboration with Remote Area Medical, will provide free cleanings, fillings, extractions and dental x-rays to improve oral health across Middle Tennessee

Meharry Medical College will provide free dental services to up to 600 uninsured or underinsured Middle Tennesseans at its annual Oral Health Day on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Free dental services provided at the one-day clinic include cleanings, fillings, extractions, dental x-rays, and oral hygiene and nutritional counseling. There will also be free kidney screenings provided by the Tennessee Kidney Foundation. The annual event – organized by the Meharry Chapter of the Association of Dental Students (ASDA) in collaboration with Remote Area Medical (RAM), a nonprofit provider of mobile medical clinics that delivers free dental, vision and medical care to those in need – will feature 100 dental chairs.

Many of Nashville’s most vulnerable citizens do not have good oral health care because they cannot access or afford it. According to the CDC, for every adult aged 19 years or older without medical insurance, there are three who don’t have dental insurance. In just two years, Meharry has treated nearly 1,000 patients and provided more than $400,000 worth of free dental care as part of its annual Oral Health Day event.

Meharry’s School of Dentistry is the nation’s leading producer of African-American dentists. Today, more than 40 percent of African-American dentists in the U.S. are Meharry graduates, and 83 percent of the college’s dental alumni choose to practice in underserved communities.

Patients must be 18 years old to receive treatment and will be seen on a first come, first served basis. All services are free, and no insurance or ID is required.

Patient registration/check-in is at Henry A. Moses, Ph.D. Alumni Hall on Meharry’s campus. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 6 a.m. Services will be available at 7 a.m. No children will be permitted. Care will be provided by Meharry dental students, Meharry School of Dentistry alumni and volunteer dental students and providers.

Remote Area Medical (RAM) is a major nonprofit organization that operates pop-up clinics delivering free quality, dental, vision, and medical services to underserved and uninsured individuals who do not have access to or cannot afford a doctor. Since RAM was founded in 1985, more than 155,000 volunteers –comprised of licensed dental, vision, and medical professionals, as well as general support staff — have treated more than 835,000 individuals delivering $150 million worth of free healthcare services. Last year, RAM held clinics in Tennessee, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Guyana, Haiti, and the Bahamas.

Meharry Medical College, founded in 1876, is the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center dedicated to educating minority and other health professionals. True to its heritage, it is a United Methodist Church related institution. The college is particularly well known for its uniquely nurturing, highly effective educational programs; emerging preeminence in health disparities research; culturally sensitive, evidence-based health services and significant contribution to the diversity of the nation’s health professions workforce. Meharry is a leading national educator of African Americans with M.D. and D.D.S. degrees and Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences.