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Dental care that's free and fun

Providing uninsured adults of the Rogue Valley a reason to smile for a third year running, Premier Care Dental of Medford will offer a “Dentistry from the Heart” event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.

Premier will offer participants either an extraction, filling or cleaning at no charge. Part of an international effort to provide dental care to those in need around the world — a handful of practices around the region have offered events in recent years — Dentistry From The Heart is based in Florida.

Office manager Leah Massey said the east Medford practice joined the event in 2016 and served 60 participants. Last year it served more than 80.

“Each year it seems to be increasing a little bit more. We are basically saying we will provide treatment to the first 200 patients, guaranteed. We’re hoping we at least hit the 100 mark this year for patients that we’re able to serve,” Massey said.

“A lot of it is people who need extractions. They’ll have that one tooth in their mouth and it’s just killing them, and they haven’t had the money to get it taken out. Extractions are probably our biggest thing that we do that people are most grateful for because they’re in so much pain before finally getting it done.”

Homeless and veteran patients tug most on the heartstrings of staff, she said.

“We’ve had veterans who have ended up with a huge infection in their mouth and they have a tooth that is blowing up and they’re in pain. We’re able to get them the antibiotics they need and get that tooth out and start getting them healthy again,” she said.

“We love being able to do this for our community. It’s a way that we can serve people who don’t normally have access to quality dental care.”

In addition to dental care, Massey said, the event includes drinks and snacks and pizza from Bobbio’s.

“We try to make it really fun. This is just a way that one of our doctors decided to start giving back to the community,” she said.

Massey had no estimates on the cost to the clinic for providing the services each year. On average, she said the three treatment options being provided for free range in price from $284 to $373 per extraction, $180 to $300 for fillings and about $100 for cleanings.

Premier Care Dental is at 4411 Brownridge Terrace, Medford. For event details, call 541-200-6747.

Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.