Sarasota--They say it's the most wonderful time of year. But imagine heading to a holiday party and not wanting to smile. Or biting into a Christmas cookie with a toothache. Fortunately for hundred on the Suncoast, those fears are now a thing of the past.
Thanks to Project Christmas Smile, hundreds of people in need of dental care who were unable to pay for it got the services they needed on Saturday.
"Obviously with the hard economic time right now people are finding that it's harder to have treatment done on a normal basis particularly during the holidays when things are a little more strapped," said Dr. Thomas Doan, a dentist who organized the project almost ten years ago.
"There are times when people just need a lending hand, and certainly if it's one simple act of kindness to our fellow man, it's definitely worth it," said Doan.
Heidi Stancomb brought her daughters to one location to have their teeth cleaned and fillings taken care of. She says it's often difficult to find a dentist; even more so to find a way to pay for it.
"Just to know that it's actually available, it's hard to find doctors that would carry for Medicaid and be available for your young ones," said Stancomb.
Overall, organizers said that forty-eight dentists and more than one hundred support staff participated in the program. They expect to treat between four hundred and six hundred patients.
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