Dentistry From the Heart - - ABC13

Dentistry From the Heart


Reporter: Parker Slaybaugh

Forest, VA - In Bedford County today, a healthy smile was important. A local dentist office, typically closed for business on a Saturday, opened their doors, but not their cash register. The Forest Dental Center offered their services to more than 200 patients. They call the program Dentistry From the Heart, and it was completely free.

They offered everything from regular cleanings to removing multiple abscessed teeth!

Those who took advantage of today's offer couldn't be more thankful.

"It's rare for people to look out for each other on that level, and for people to take time out of their busy schedule to help other people out is really rare, and I appreciate it a lot," said Ben Jonas, who received free dental work Saturday.

Dr. McAvoy and his team of doctors, hygienists, and assistants, volunteered their time and talent on what would be their day off, all for the simple joy of helping others.

"That's why I decided to become a dentist, because I know I can help people," said Dr. Daniel Yeager, who is a Doctor at Forest Dental Center.

Yeager is no stranger to volunteer work, in addition to his full time job as a doctor at Forest Dental Center, he also volunteers at the Free Clinic of Central Virginia.

"They can't afford the basic treatment that they need, so they will go through with pain and discomfort for months to years and really this is their only option," said Yeager.

Jonas woke up at 4 a.m. with hopes of getting a tooth filled, and when he arrived, he was number 163 in line.

"I think that's pretty amazing for people to take time out of their busy lives and serve other people," said Jonas.

Jonas doesn't have insurance, and the last time he had a full dental visit was 17 years ago.

"They are probably alleviating pain for 200 people here today, or more than that, and I think that's a pretty awesome thing to do," said Jonas.

Organizers say Saturday's event would not have been possible if it weren't for the 87 volunteers and countless donations from the community.

By the end of the day the Forest Dental Center did more than $70,000 worth of dental work.

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