Social Justice Through Dentistry: Senior Larissa Hannan Reflects on Internship at Community Dental

Larissa Guest AuthorGuest Author:  Larissa Hannan, UMF Senior, Community Health Education

This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern under Community Dental of Farmington. I am a current senior Community Health student, and when you think of community health, public health, or just health in general, oral health is not at the top of the list. However, after being urged to look into it more, I realized that because oral health is not on top of the list, it was exactly the reason why I needed to be a part of the internship. I wanted the opportunity to learn more about issues not commonly discussed in public health, and Community Dental has provided that for me. Over the course of my time at Community Dental, I have attended community events spreading awareness on oral health in Franklin County, assisted in developing materials to be released to the LHannan Community Dentalpublic on oral health education, as well as keeping track of data and evaluating from events and meetings attended. My tasks all relate back to the overarching goal of the grant, to reduce caries (cavities) in children 0-9 by ten percent. I feel that my time at Community Dental has benefited me greatly as a future public health professional. Often times I feel myself focusing on issues commonly brought up in the media, or where my true interests lie, however oral health is so important, yet so often takes the backburner. For this reason, I am thankful that I received the opportunity to open my eyes to the realities of oral health and what it means to the overall health of an individual.

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