Need free dental care? Here's a solution - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Need free dental care? Here's a solution


Most of us aren't big fans of going to the dentist, but it's a necessity. Some don't go because they can't afford the deductible, or because they have no insurance at all.

Well, Smith Dental Care, located at 5400 New Copeland Road in Tyler, figured out a way to make a trip to the dentist more attractive: make it free.

Dentistry from the Heart is February 8. The only price? Waiting in line.

Need a filling, extraction or cleaning? Well, on Saturday, February 8, that would be free if you go to the right place: Smith Dental Care in Tyler.  Lynette Ogletree is one of the dentists donating her time for hundreds of mouths that might need a bit of a tune-up.

"We have a registration process ... they'll fill out some paperwork. We're going to make sure their medical history is safe to do the treatment and blood pressure is in a good range, and it's first come, first served," Ogletree said.

The doors open at 5:30 a.m. In years past, some would camp on the sidewalk like it was Black Friday, but this year it's a little on the chilly side for a "Black Toothday" camp out.

"They can come the night before. Around 7:00 p.m. we're going to hand out some tickets so they don't have to stay out in the cold all night this year," Ogletree revealed.

Last year they squeezed in over 290 sets of teeth, and this year, they're hoping to help 300, with all hands on deck.

"Everybody's here. They're showing up ready to go: doctors, staff, volunteers. Everybody's very excited," Ogletree said.

And everyone is working for free. There are a few limitations, though.

Some of the procedures they won't be doing are root canals, crowns, dentures and partials.

"Unfortunately, we won't be able to see any minors, so they have to bring their driver's license when they come," Ogletree relayed.

Hopeful patients need to have medication information on hand, and if pregnant, on blood thinners, have uncontrolled blood pressure, or are phobic, you'll have to wait until next year.

This is their tenth year giving back to the community, and plan on more Dentistry from the Heart next year.

If you can't make it February 8, there will be another free dental day hosted by the Smith County Dental Society at Bethesda Health Clinic at 409 W. Ferguson in Tyler.

The annualSmith County Dental Society free clinic is planned for Feb 28 and March 1.

Screenings forthis event will be February 28 at Bethesda Clinic, 409 West Ferguson Street.

Patientsselected for treatment will be given an appointment for the following day atone of ten participating clinics.

In addition tofillings, x-rays and extractions, this event also offers denture-relatedservices as well as oral surgeries.

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