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February 2, 2014

Masses try to stay warm for free dental care

CHICKASHA —

Huddled in a red and black plaid blanket outside 29th St. Dental Care, Shelby Peters was among over 200 patients awaiting free dental procedures. 

"Dentistry from the Heart" is an annual, one day event at 29th St. Dental Care that provides free dental procedures to anyone. Patients do not have to make appointments. No questions are asked about insurance. 

Peters went to the dentist for a teeth cleaning and after some X-rays found out she needed $3,700 worth of fillings. Prior to this, Peters had not been to the dentist in 15 years. 

After hearing about "Dentistry from the Heart" from a televised news station, Peters, of Noble, Okla. decided to make the 50 minute drive down to Chickasha where she began waiting in line at 7:50 a.m. 

"It's nice someone is giving back. You don't find many people doing that," she said. 

The generous spirt seemed to spread. Someone had said on Facebook that they were cold and needed socks. A good samaritan brought them a package of socks, Peters said. 

The day was busy for the 75 to 100 volunteers. By their lunch break around 1 p.m., the team of volunteers, dentists and staffs at 29th St. Dental Care had seen about 135 patients, Dr. John Phillips, said. 

The patients were brought in 14 patients at a time, occupying the 14 available rooms for an average of 30 minutes. 

Phillips said the team saw several residents of Grady and Caddo Counties as well as a few from Texas. 

"There were patients that couldn't smile, and now they can," Phillips said.

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