Lakeland dentist offers $30,000 in free dental services

12:51 PM, May 27, 2011   |    comments
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If you don't have dental insurance and have some free time today, Village Plaza Dental Designs is offering free dental services until 1 p.m.

Lakeland, Florida --  It's estimated one-third of Americans do not have dental insurance.

This is the group of people Dr. Eric Ebuen with Village Plaza Dental Designs is targeting.

"We see a lot of people that cannot afford to get something as simple as a filing done and we wanted to just give back to our community," said Dr. Ebuen.

He and his staff opened their doors early Friday morning to more than 250 people and provided free cleanings, extractions and fillings.

People lined up as early as 3 a.m.

"Especially on a weekend like this, it's a holiday weekend, a lot of folks might be traveling or spending time with friends and family. Who wants to have to worry about having a toothache?" he said.

Michael Shepard was among the first few who lined up outside of the dental office.

"It's nice to be a part of something that helps people," he said.  "I'm just glad there are people that will do that."

A few steps behind him in line, Ashleigh Douglas waited with her friend Evette McCree of Zoey's Journey, a treatment facility for women who suffer from addition or physical abuse.

"The alternative to this usually is it doesn't get done.  You just go without because there's more important things like medical.  If I was going to save for something, it would have to be that and usually your teeth don't get it done."

The staff of four dentists and six hygienists managed to assist about 250 people, with an estimated $30,000 worth of dental services.

For some people, it meant the pain went away.  For others, it's simply their smile.

"It makes me feel better about my self.  It builds your confidence up a little bit," said Douglas.  "The first thing you see when you meet someone is either their eyes or their smile."

Dr. Ebuen says he hopes to make this an annual event.

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