There were plenty of smiles to go around Friday as Picton Dental Centre hosted its sixth annual Dentistry From the Heart event.
All told, 75 county residents were able to have a free procedure (an extraction, cleaning, or filling) thanks to the community-mindedness of Drs. Reenu and Kuldeep Sandhu.
In total, nearly $25,000 worth of dental services were provided to community members in need of oral health procedures.
Local adults without regular dental benefits or the means to have regular oral care can circle the third Friday of January on the calendar each year as the dentists are committed to hosting a Dentistry Form the Heart event as long as they practice — or even longer.
“As long as I live, I have to do it,” Kuldeep Sandhu told the Gazette as he started a procedure on a patient.
Dentistry From the Heart started in 2001 as an initiative in New Port Richey, FL by Dr. Vincent Monticciolo to give back to that community and offer oral care to those without insurance.
Since that time, Dentistry From the Heart has grown to more than 250 communities across North America.
Sandhu said seeing people leave the office with a smile and a sense of relief that comes with addressing a nagging problem feels good.
“It really feels good that we’ve been able to reach out and help so many people,” Sandhu said. “This time around though we’ve had a lot of support from the community. A lot of people have been able to come out and volunteer and it minimizes our expenses and the financial burden on us which helps us help more people.”
The dentist didn’t mince words when asked what issue or procedure he sees the most of on a day like today.
“It’s suffering. Patients want to do care for their mouth but they just can’t make it happen,” Sandhu said. “Things are happening around them which takes priority and they just can’t make it in. Whether it’s a filling, extraction or a cleaning it keeps getting neglected, and there’s a trade off that happens and let’s face it, dental care is expensive and it’s one of the first things to be sacrificed.”
For more information on the Picton Dental Centre, visit http://pictondental.com.