Reporter: Lauren Compton l Photojournalist: Daniel Heffner
Lynchburg, VA- Dental health is important to keeping a healthy smile, but in this tough economy many are choosing to go without it. A dentist center in Forest is stepping up to help people who can't afford this health care necessity.
The Forest Dental Center is preparing for its largest community event of the year, called Dentistry of the Heart. During this annual event on September 18th they'll give free dental care to anyone who needs it.
"They have their choice of a free cleaning, filing or an extraction" said Dr. Brian McAvoy, Forest Dental Center.
Dr. Brian McAvoy says he learned about the program from a dentist in Florida, and since he brought the program to Lynchburg each year the amount of people showing up for help grows.
"People have showed up here the night before, and camped out in the parking lot," said Dr. McAvoy.
He says it's a sign of the hard economy and shows just how many are struggling with little to no dental insurance.
"Dentistry is so important, but it is so often overlooked because people feel like they can't afford to do it or they're afraid," said Cari Zello, Office Manager of Forest Dental Center.
At, last year's event they treated more than 200 patients that's $68,000 dollars worth of dentistry.
The event is made possible by donations from suppliers and the help of many volunteers and dentists.
"We have dentists coming in from Virginia Beach, Rockbridge County, and all the dentists locally have been really supportive," said Dr. McAvoy.
The Dentistry from the Heart event is on September 18th, and it starts 8 a.m. Dentists will see patients on a first come, first serve basis, so you'll need to get their early.
Forest Dental Center
1604 Graves Mill Road
Lynchburg, VA 24502