COLORADO SPRINGS — According to local experts, more than one in three people did not visit the dentist in the last year.
Esthetic Family Dentistry is hoping to change those numbers on Thursday, Feb. 13.
“There [are] a lot of people in our community that don’t have dental insurance or they don’t have Medicaid, and they fall through the cracks,” said Cameron Perigo, DDS, co-owner of Esthetic Family Dentistry.
They’ve held this event: Dentists With a Heart, for the past 10 years. They help out with fillings, extractions, and cleanings for both adults and children who, otherwise, aren’t able to afford to have that work done.
Esthetic Family Dentistry says the work they put in during this yearly event averages more than $20-thousand in dental work.
“There [are] a lot of people who don’t go to the dentist on a regular basis. Sometimes they don’t have the money or they’re afraid to go see the dentist. Or maybe they had a bad experience in the past. And so, we’d like to help people with at least some of those things,” Perigo said.
No appointment is needed to be seen, this event works on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Their doors will open at 7 a.m. and in the past, they’ve seen between 100 to 150 people.
“We give them a number based on the time they come, and then we triage them or see what their greatest need is, then we try to meet that in the time that they have,” said Bob Winkler, DDS, co-owner of Esthetic Family Dentistry.
These dentists say it’s their way of giving back to their community, to make sure everyone stays healthy.
“What we’re learning more and more… is that the health of our mouth is critical to the health of our body. There’s been a lot of associations between poor dental health, cardiovascular disease, poor diabetes control, and even some associations now with Alzheimer’s disease,” Perigo said.