On this page:

The word BOCA, which means “mouth” in Spanish, signifies our dedication to oral health care, as well as our goal of advocating for more universal access to dental care worldwide. 

Making a Difference

We support communities by participating in health fairs and dental screening programs, as well as volunteering at non-dental outreach events. Our goal is to address both the oral healthcare needs and the socioeconomic needs of the communities we serve.

For dental missions, we strive to provide the dental care most needed by a particular community, including:

  • Dental screenings
  • Surgical extractions
  • Restorative dental work
  • Dental hygiene
  • Sealants
  • Oral health education
  • Assisting those who need to identify a permanent dental home

We have provided the equivalent of nearly $4,000,000 in free dental work.

Providing Opportunities for Dental Students

While the most important beneficiaries of our dental work are the patients, the dental students who attend these missions are also rewarded. In addition to gaining insight into lives that are often less privileged than their own, students have the opportunity to do extraordinary amounts of dental work; depending on the trip, the average student performs between 30-60 extractions and up to 25 restorations in a week.

Types of Outreach Programs

We focus on those areas of Buffalo — and the world — that lack adequate access to care.

Local Outreach (Buffalo-Niagara)

Our volunteer work includes:

  • Making mouthguards for athletes
  • Volunteering at a soup kitchen
  • Educating people about oral health
  • Playing BINGO at assisted living facilities
  • Collecting school supplies for children in Haiti
  • Screening Amish children for cavities 

We’ve helped organizations throughout Western New York, including:

Boca Sana Cuerpo Sano

This outreach program — the only program currently serving the at-risk Buffalo Hispanic population — helps address oral health needs, promote oral health and provide screenings.

National Outreach

UB Dental BOCA offers domestic outreach programs in partnership with Remote Area Medical (RAM). Groups of approximately 20 dental students, accompanied by School of Dental Medicine faculty members, provide donated dental care to underserved communities within the United States. The majority of our outreach programs with RAM take place in Tennessee and Kentucky, and are typically a weekend experience.

Global Outreach

Over the years we have led outreach programs in the Dominican Republic, Senegal, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Mexico, Tonga and Vietnam.

UB Dental BOCA organizes several outreach programs in various international locations every year, typically for a one-week duration over spring or summer break. These programs offer our dental students and faculty members the opportunity to provide much-needed care, while experiencing new cultures.

Our international outreach is supported in part by Henry Schein.

Watch a Slideshow of a Past Outreach Trip

Video about our global outreach


Title Name
President Zachary Gorgone
President Elect Seth Tirsun
Treasurer Ashima Sharma
Treasurer Elect Saloni Shah
Secretary Natalia Jakacki
Fundraising Chairs Alexandria Hensler, Shane Endres, Victoria Olsen
Fundraising Chair Elects Claire Prunier, Caitlyn Murray, Christopher Lepore
Outreach Coordinators Lauren Shine, Hunter LaRosa
Outreach Coordinator Elect Oneida Shushe, Sabrina Blaskovic
Public Relations Chair Nawshin Chowdhury
Public Relations Chair Elect Erin Cannon
Contact us at:



Stephen Abel

Director of Community and Professional Initiatives

Office of the Dean

325F Squire Hall

Phone: (716) 829-2836

Email: sabel2@buffalo.edu


Matt Blum

Director of Student Affairs

Office of Student Affairs / Admissions

315 Squire Hall, South Campus

Phone: (716) 829-6425

Email: mhblum@buffalo.edu