Dr. Vincent Monticciolo, DDS, had an idea. And his idea has spread across the globe.
Dentistry From the Heart, founded by Dr. Monticciolo in 2001 from his Florida dental office, offers patients one free procedure on one specific day of the year. The event began as a kind of thank-you event to Dr. Monticciolo’s community, but has since become an annual happening, and has caught on in numerous other states, as well as countries around the world.
Patients at a Dentistry From the Heart event may be financially unable to afford regular dental care. Now, thanks to the vision of Dr. Monticciolo, they have a chance.
A movement like this couldn’t come at more opportune time. Every day, the evidence connecting oral health to overall physical health continues to mount. Research is linking healthy teeth and gums to healthy pregnancies, healthy hearts, and good blood sugar control for diabetics, to name just a few conditions.
Dentists and dentistry staff know firsthand the difference a healthy mouth can make, and are eager to extend their services to people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford them.
“We just want to use this day to give back to our community that has been so wonderful to us,” said Chrystal Burns, coordinator for an upcoming Dentistry From the Heart event taking place in Cleveland on April 4th.
These events, however, do have their limitations.
Patients are seen on a first-come-first-served basis, so participants are encouraged to show up early for each event in order to fill out a medical history form. Priority will also be given to patients who suffer from extreme or chronic discomfort.
Due to the massive popularity of such events, the list of procedures offered is necessarily short. Anyone expecting to receive free dental implants (normally costing anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per tooth) will be disappointed. Patients can receive either a cleaning, filling, or extraction.
Eligible patients must be 18 years of age or older. For parents interested in dental care for their children, the Dentistry From the Heart website recommends a similar service, Give Kids a Smile (www.gkas.org).