Buffalo Outreach and Community Assistance
Buffalo Outreach and Community Assistance (BOCA) is a School of Dental Medicine organization initiated by dental students and dedicated to providing care to underserved areas. Dental students and faculty have delivered much needed dental treatment to such locations as the Appalachian region of the US, Belize, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam and as well as in the Buffalo area. National and international outreach events are organized and planned by faculty, who accompany students during each mission as well.
Dental services performed by BOCA participants include oral examinations; periodontal scaling and oral prophylaxis; amalgam, glass ionomer and composite restorations; endodontic procedures and routine and surgical exodontia. Dental treatment of special needs patients, the vast majority of whom have not previously received any dental care, has also been provided. Screening for hypertension and diabetes is routinely performed.
The participants of BOCA missions have had extremely positive experiences. One student stated it was a "unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience. I will always remember this mission for the rest of my life. It gave me much pleasure knowing that we helped a lot of people who could not afford dental treatment" while another said that "BOCA was ‘life changing'; opened my eyes to disadvantaged people and helped so many in only four days. Best experience while at dental school;" and another commented "This whole experience gave me a new perspective on life. I'm sure we are all going to be better dentists because of this experience."