Dentistry from the Heart
By Phoebe Donald Robinson / Community Columnist
Since 2010 dentists from Shelby County and surrounding areas have banded together to offer free dental services one day each year as part of the national service called “Dentistry from the Heart.”
“Dentistry from the Heart is a registered non-profit organization that provides free dental work for people who need it. In the past 11 years, Dentistry from the Heart events have contributed more than $8 million in free dentistry and helped more than 76,000 patients across North America. Our main goal is to spread the giving spirit of dentistry to those in need,” read Facebook/Dentistry From The Heart.
Dr. Mike Mahan is the dentist with the heart who has spearheaded this effort in Shelby County. He wanted a way to give back to his community that he loves so much and has written about so poignantly in his historical biography “No Hill Too High for a Stepper; Memories of Montevallo, Alabama.”
For the last five years Mahan has encouraged dentists to give a day of their time to exclusively do teeth extractions for this particular service is so important to stop deadly infections that can arise from bad teeth.
Last year, more than 175 people were served and 403 teeth were extracted worth $44,000 of free dental care in Shelby County. Anyone can come to the one day Dentistry from the Heart, which is usually in the fall. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and the dentists start seeing patients at 7 a.m. Patients are now limited to 150 people so that all can receive quality care. Patients receive a medical screening before service and also follow up care. For future info for Dentistry from the Heart 2015, contact 665-2723.
Dentists who participated this year were: Dr. Ryan Draiss, Chelsea Comprehensive Dental, Chelsea; Dr. Justin Zellmer, Shelby Dental Center, Calera; Dr. Miriam Watts-Perdomo, Save-on-Dental, Foley; Dr. Tim Nettles, Columbiana Family Dentistry, Columbiana; Dr. Sharon Glass, Sharon New Glass DMD, LLC, Clanton; and Dr. Mike Mahan, Mahan Creek Dental Office, Brierfield.
For more info see Dentistryfromtheheart.org.