The Gift of a Great Smile

We often take so much for granted in life. Like, for example, the ability to smile. Or laugh out loud, or chew any type of food we like, or grin for photographs without feeling embarrassed about our teeth. It’s hard to flash those pearly whites, though, if your teeth are a mess, or if you’re in pain and don’t have any resources to do something about it.

Janice Bryant has a reason to smile again

New Smiles for Dental Blitz patient Janice Bryant

… thanks to the urgent dental care she received at HealthNet’s annual Dental Blitz Day last Saturday, April 14, at People’s Health & Dental Center.

Janice had been living with a painful toothache for more than 10 years, she estimates. Without insurance or the means to afford care, she didn’t have any options. Just by chance, though, she attended the Indy Homeless Connect event held last week at the Indiana Convention Center. There, she got a quick oral health assessment and an appointment at the Dental Blitz Day event.

Although she was a little anxious about seeing a dentist for the first time in years, Janice expressed thanks to the staff from HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program and Dental Services Program for making the event possible.

“Everyone was so kind and caring, and treated me with respect,” she said. “This place is such a blessing!”

By the end of the day, 42 people had their smiles back too — receiving much-needed, free urgent dental care. The day included a record number of extractions— 54 painful teeth pulled! Less urgent cases were scheduled for follow up at the Homeless Initiative Program’s dental clinic, held each Thursday at People’s Health & Dental Center.

We’d like to give our appreciation to everyone who gave up their Saturday to help out so many people – Dr. Philip Woller, DDS, and Dr. William Davee, DDS, from People’s Dental Center and Dr. Tonya Stewart, DDS, from the Marion County Health Department, as well as all the support staff from HIP and the Dental Services team. Thanks for bringing a smile to so many faces!

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