One of the wonderful opportunities that dentistry provides is the opportunity to give back. The needs in our local communities are increasing. In recently published data it was reported that in 2009, nearly 50 percent of children ages 2-17, without health insurance had not seen a dentist in the past year, and more than one in five needed dental care, but did not receive it because they could not afford the cost. Untreated oral diseases can lead to problems in eating, speaking, and sleeping. Poor oral health among children has been tied to poor performance in school and poor social relationships. For example, children with chronic dental pain may have difficulty concentrating, poor self-image, and problems completing schoolwork. Children with early childhood dental problems also often weigh less. Seven percent of children ages two to 17 had unmet dental needs, meaning they did not receive dental care in the past year due to financial constraints.
Many of us regularly take the opportunity to travel to third world countries to donate dental services to the disadvantaged. Sometimes we forget the needs right here at home. One of the highlights of my years of private practice was the annual day we donated free dentistry to the community. I had a great sense of gratitude for the support that my practice received from our community so it always felt good to give back. This year I was able to carry on the tradition of giving back by donating a day of free dentistry in the rural community where I work with a non-profit health care organization. With the help of three staff member who donated their time we were able to donate over $6000 worth of dentistry. It felt good!
If you want to pull off a successful free dental day, contact me and I can help.
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