East Texas Receive Free Dental Care - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/10/07-Tyler

East Texas Receive Free Dental Care

More than 100 East Texans got the chance to get dental cleanings, extractions, x-rays and fillings Saturday, all for no charge. It's called Dentistry With A Heart, and it gave low income families the opportunity to get the dental care they desperately need.

The waiting room at Smith Dental Care in Tyler was packed Saturday morning as people waited patiently for their name to be called.   For three years, doctor Roy Smith has held the event.  "I used to take missionary trips, and I decided there were as many people here that needed our help as there," said Dr. Roy Smith of Smith Dental Care. "Most of these people have been hurting for six months to three years."

Volunteers say patients from all over East Texas started showing up Friday night. Some of them even stayed in the clinic's parking lot until the doors opened at 7:30 in the morning.   Brandon Hynes of Jacksonville spent the night in his truck, hoping to have his teeth looked at.   "Get my smile made a little better because I'm kind of embarrassed to smile with my teeth," said Hynes. "The two in the front are breaking."

With dozens of volunteers running around, it didn't take long for Hynes to get help.  "They have been very nice and very helpful," said Hynes. "They get you in as quick as possible and get you done."  

Volunteers say the experience is just as rewarding for them as it is for those receiving dental care.  "Oh my gosh," said Smith Dental Care hygienistConnie Gulley, "We get so many blessings from this day, just being able to help people and share our gifts and talents that we have with some really disadvantaged people."

Smith Dental Care says it hopes to continue to serve for years to come.

Molly Reuter, Reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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