Tyler dentists set to provide free care on Saturday
Local dentists will provide free care for a limited number of people in need Saturday at Smith Dental Care, 5400 New Copeland Road.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47.2 percent of Americans have periodontal disease. In addition, people who are uninsured and underinsured often have little or no access to oral health care.
It's this population that Tyler dentists say they want to help. As part of Dentistry From the Heart, a national annual event that includes dentists from across the country, Tyler dentists will give away more than $80,000 in dental services. This is Smith Dental Care's ninth annual event.
More than 50 volunteers are expected to participate in Saturday's event.
Participating dentists include Dr. Roy R. Smith, Dr. Lynette Ogletree, Dr. Joe Smith, Dr. Aaron Douglas, Dr. Ron Morlock, Dr. Buddy Furqueron, Dr. Brian Jackson and Dr. Brent Jackson.
"It is such a rewarding thing, both for the volunteers and the community," Dr. Roy Smith said. "There are so many people in this area that have dental needs. It's a thing I know we all love to do."
Services will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. The free treatments are open to people in surrounding areas as well.
There will be no restorative dentistry available, but only procedures that can be done that day in the office, including cleanings and tooth extractions.
Registration begins at 5:30 a.m., but with limited spots available and time constraints, patients are encouraged to come earlier, staff said.
Patients must be 18 or older with valid photo ID. Excluded procedures include root canals, crowns, dentures and partials. This event also excludes patients on blood thinners, who are phobic, or pregnant.
Smith said it was important that East Texans help other East Texans in any way they can.
"It's just one day, but it's one way to give back to the community," he said.