For a few, it was a day filled with anxiety. But for many others, it was a day to receive a healthy smile and be out of pain.
Just two months after the Bright Now!® Dental Tualatin, Ore., office opened, they recruited 14 volunteers from offices in nearby Beaverton, Hillsboro, Milwaukie and Portland to participate in a “Day of Giving.” At this event – held Saturday, May 16, 2015 – dentists and hygienists, with assistance from support staff members, provided free dental care for people who otherwise might not have been able to afford it.
“It was rewarding to give back to our community,” said Dr. Gita Yitta, Lead Dentist at the Tualatin office. “It’s great knowing we can have such an impact on people’s lives by providing treatment that can improve their oral hygiene.” Dr. Yitta was joined by Dr. Chris Kooning and Dr. Jeff Pearson; together they administered nearly 120 dental procedures, at no charge to the patients.
One young patient who required a front tooth restoration was embarrassed to smile because of her chipped tooth. After her tooth was fixed, while she waited for her sister, she was seen admiring her new smile in various mirrors around the office.
Another patient, Penny Henson, who hadn’t seen a dentist in over 12 years, received a much-needed cleaning and two fillings. “I’m impressed that you have so many people willing to volunteer their time,” she said.
Russell Messersmith, who needed more comprehensive treatment that included a root canal, was excited to get his tooth restored and be pain free. He described the Bright Now! Dental team as generous, knowledgeable, professional, and collaborative.
Bright Now! Dental, through the Smiles for Everyone Foundation, established this “Day of Giving,” arranging for patients in need to be pre-screened by the Tualatin School House Pantry. This gave each patient their own appointment and individualized care where they were offered cleanings, exams and x-rays. If needed, more specialized procedures, such as extractions, restorations and root canals, were performed on the spot.
“This was a pilot event for Bright Now! Dental and the Smiles for Everyone Foundation,” explains SFE Foundation Manager Crystal Strait. “We hope to partner with other affiliated practices to host similar events in the future.”