“No words can express how grateful I am,” said Cagle, who has suffered two abscessed wisdom teeth for more than a year. “It would cost me $250 a tooth without antibiotics. I’ve got two kids. I couldn’t afford this.”
The north exhibit hall of the Civic Center was turned into a dental beehive this weekend, the country’s largest dental office. There were 44 portable chairs and units, with 99 dentists from across the state working in shifts to treat those with dental problems who can’t afford the care.
They came from not just Amarillo [naturally fluoridated from 1.20 mg/L to 2.10 mg/L], but from Dallas [fluoridated], Houston [fluoridated], Austin [fluoridated], Lubbock [naturally fluoridated], San Antonio [fluoridated] and Mount Pleasant, paying their own way as part of the Texas Dental Association’s Smiles Foundation.
Procedures performed included teeth cleaning, extractions, stainless steel crowns, some root canal therapy, and a limited number of partial dentures. For the first time in the event’s 10-year history, about eight to 10 patients were being fitted with dentures.
More than 1,000 people came through the Civic Center,
“Ever have a toothache? Some of the people we saw this weekend had 10 to 12 toothaches,” Smith said. “We saw people whose oral health is just horrendous.”
Jon Mark Beilue: Dentists get busy at Civic Center | Amarillo Globe-News: