Free Dental Care Gives Hurting Mainers Something to Smile About


Mainers who otherwise could not afford dental care were given something to smile about as, for the second year in a row, a team of dentists, oral surgeons, and dental hygienists volunteered their services. The event highlighted a real need in the state, and underscored the dire state of oral health care in the US.

From the Portland Press Herald:

SCARBOROUGH – People — desperate, hurting people — were waiting in line at the Dunstan Dental Center early Friday. By late afternoon, a team of dentists, oral surgeons and hygienists had treated 120 patients who needed dental care but couldn’t afford it.

For a second year, members of the Greater Portland Dental Society offered their services free of charge. Organizers say they plan to make Dentists Who Care for ME an annual event in November. Over time, they hope to expand it statewide.

The national debate over health care and health insurance has largely ignored the plight of dental care, organizers say, although many people with dental emergencies end up in the hospital emergency room. When money is tight and people are out of work, dental care often is ignored until it becomes an emergency.

Read the whole story here.

—Dennis Pacheco

Image courtesy the Portland Press Herald.

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