Local dentist donates smiles with free dental care

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Rapid City, SD A local dentist is giving out free smiles - with donated dental care, Friday.

Dloria Baker said "Our smile is everything to everybody. And when you smile to someone you get it back."

That's why Orchard Meadows Family Dental cleaned up those pearly whites free of charge - helping more than 50 locals.

Mark Garner, the dentist at Orchard Meadows, said "And to support the people who have supported us over the years."

This is the office's third event giving out free care for the day.

Last year, dentists helped 120 total patients in two days, giving out more than $20 thousand dollars in dentistry work.

Garner said "So we've seen an awful lot of people today who've been putting up with dental issues for a very long time because they have no other resources."

De De is one of those patients - she got a free extraction.

Baker said "Relief, that's what it is. Relief. And a tooth pain, it's a pain - it hurts."

Patients could choose between a filling, extraction, or cleaning.

Garner said "Whatever your need is. We'll meet that need today."

Experts say you should make an appointment for your teeth twice a year.

But, on average, an extraction can rack up nearly $190 dollars, while a cleaning can cost about $180.

Baker said "And we don't get that very often. And what we do have we appreciate. Everything that our community gives to us."

Garner said "I think that there's a great need in our community for services like this."

But they say you can't put a price tag on self esteem.

Baker said "You know with what is going on in our world today, people don't have things to smile about. But, you know what? When we come here, we can come out and we can smile again."

Today's event is part of Dentistry From The Heart - a national organization helping local dentists give back.

Orchard Meadows expect to host another event close to November.