FAIRBORN – Smile Innovations will offer free dental work, including fillings, extractions and cleanings, through the national nonprofit organization Dentistry from the Heart, Friday, Oct. 23, as a means of giving back to the community.
“I feel that it’s neat because it gives us the chance to give back to our community in the most effective way,” Dr. Ian Rae of Smile Innovations said. “If I went down for Habitat for Humanity to build some houses, that’s not my skill or trade so I’m not going to be very effective in building houses – but because I’ve been practicing dentistry for 10 years, I feel that Dr. Luna and I are good at dentistry. We can be more impactful.”
Three dentists, two hygienists and three dental assistants will be on staff for the event, which is meant to assist those without means of receiving dental work due to lack of insurance of having a low income. Patients must be 18 years old and elder. Those younger, or individuals with insurance, will not be seen.
“It’s such a good avenue to help people – people who are on a hard time or can’t afford it, or may have some pain or toothache,” Dr. Kim Luna of Smile Innovations said. “We’re able to help out, bridge that gap until they can make this a routine for them to get the help they need.”
The dentists will offer cleanings, fillings, which is used to repair cavities, and extractions, which is the removal of a tooth. Rae felt that these services would be beneficial to offer, as they don’t typically require a follow-up appointment. However, patients seen during the event are able to make additional appointments for the future if they wish.
“The reason we’re doing this is because we’re trying to reach out to a section of the public that may not have dental insurance, and patients who fall through the cracks and can’t afford dentistry,” Rae said. “These are services that we can do fairly quickly and in one visit, so we can serve as many people as possible … These services don’t necessarily need a follow up.”
Services are offered by Rae, Luna and former owner of Smile Innovations Dr. Thomas Fulton. Rae has participated in two of these events before; Luna is participating for the first time.
“The whole staff has worked really hard and everyone is really excited to meet the community,” Luna said.
Registration for the event begins at 7:30 a.m.; the dentists will begin services by 8 a.m. and will treat at least the first 50 attendees, or as many as they can until they close shop at 2 p.m.; services are offered on a first come, first serve basis. The Smile Innovations office recommends bring chairs and dressing for the weather. The event will take place at the office, 400 East Dayton Yellow Springs Road. Although this event is being offered for the first time, Rae is hopeful that the event will take place on an annual basis. Attendees don’t need to bring anything with them to the event.
Rae said recent studies have suggested that dental diseases, such as gum diesase, or bacteria in the mouth may contribute to additional health problems, such as heart disease, stroke or Alzheimer’s.
“Number one: we’re going to be serving that day, and we’re coming with loving hearts and understanding,” Rae said. “Similar to what we do in our normal practice as far as acceptance goes, there’s no judgment at the door. We really want to show that we care about the people in our community and want to help them as much as we can … We will be gentle and try to keep everything as pain-free as possible.”