University of Louisville dental team uses their artistic sides to help kids get dental care

Cast of fundraisers: A selection of the AO Handmakers' work is on display with, from right, Dr. Lawrence Gettleman, University of Louisville lecturer and advisor to Alpha Omega; Sara Nelson, Alpha Omega member and third-year dental student; Holly Bradford, Alpha Omega president and third-year dental student; and Dr. Lee Mayer, Alpha Omega faculty co-advisor.

Cast of fundraisers: A selection of the AO Handmakers’ work is on display with, from right, Dr. Lawrence Gettleman, University of Louisville lecturer and advisor to Alpha Omega; Sara Nelson, Alpha Omega member and third-year dental student; Holly Bradford, Alpha Omega president and third-year dental student; and Dr. Lee Mayer, Alpha Omega faculty co-advisor.

Some creative dental students and faculty at the University of Louisville are giving pediatric patients in their community a hand — in more ways than one.

Using alginate impression material, members of the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity student chapter make plaster casts of hands, feet, faces and other body parts for donors annually at a local art festival, according to ADA News. The proceeds for years have gone to the university’s pediatric dentistry program, helping underserved kids get dental care. Last year, the group raised about $500.

Calling themselves the “AO Handmakers,” the university fraternity started the unique fundraiser in 2002 under the leadership of Dr. Lawrence Gettleman, a lecturer and former professor of prosthodontics and biomaterials at the university’s dental school.

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