Shreveport-area residents in need of a dental treatment, but who can’t afford care, will have an opportunity to see a dentist Saturday free of charge.
A Brighter Smile Dental Care will host "Dentistry From the Heart." It’s one of more than 150 treatment events to be held this year at dental clinics across the U.S. and in Canada. Patients who are 16 or older will have their choice of one procedure: a filling, extraction or cleaning. This is the first time A Brighter Smile has participated. Clinic owner and dentist Michael Wiesner, along with his wife, a fellow dentist, sought a way to give back to their community and profession.
“We wanted to do something like a mission trip, but with two young kids my wife and I said that’s probably not going to be feasible for a little while. So, we decided that this fit the needs of what we wanted to do, and it’s a good outreach program for the local community," Wiesner said, in between seeing patients at his practice.
A Brighter Smile’s marketing director Sarah McKinney-Williams said the clinic plans to staff up in anticipation of the demand. Perhaps more than 100 people will have the ability to sit in a dentist chair during the six-hour event. She said the volunteer effort is being led by the three dentists at A Brighter Smile and an oral surgeon, along with many more clinical staff.
"We have anywhere between 20 to 35 other staff who are coming -- hygienists, doctor’s assistants and overall staff -- to volunteer their time to do everything that this particular operation will require," McKinney-Williams said.
Even some of Wiesner's patients are slated to help out. No one will have to show any proof of financial need, but Wiesner said a brief medical history and a blood pressure check will be performed before a procedure is done. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 11. Treatments will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A Brighter Smile Dental Care is located at 375 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop in Shreveport.