More Than 100 East Texans Receive Free Dental Care

They began lining up as early as Friday afternoon.

"We've been here since about 4 o'clock in the morning," said Rosalinda Mantera.

"When people spend the night to be here and in the line in the morning, you know that it's definitely a need that they have," said Smith Dental Care Team Leader Connie Gulley.  What a costly need dental work is.  That's why Smith Dental Care organizes the annual event to provide free fillings, extractions and cleanings.

"I'm just going to have my cleaning done today cause I really need it," said Mantera.

"Well, I don't have but three teeth in my mouth, and then I'm ready for dentures," said Jurel Dean Cannon of Tyler.  "It is a blessing from God that he, I hope, is going to pull all three."

"I'm going to get two teeth filled," said Debra Kirk of Kilgore.  "My husband's going to get one filled and two pulled."

"It's something that we enjoy sharing, our talents and gifts with other patients with people that are in need," said Gulley.  East Texans we talked to are very grateful, not only for the dental work, but for the food, drinks, tents and heaters that were provided as well.

"He's fed us breakfast, and he's fed us lunch," said Cannon.  "It's wonderful.  I've had a good time."

"We're saying special prayers for the dentists and their families for them doing this for us cause it's great," said Kirk.  "It's a real blessing for them to do this for us."

"Chick-Fil-A, Brookshire's, Yahooz Coffee, we've had several people come and help with that," said Gulley.  "We've had some churches that have come to help minister to some of these people, so we're very grateful to the community to help us put this on."  It's East Texans coming together and volunteering their services, with their smiles the only reward.

Courtney Lane, Reporting