DANVILLE — For the past 20 years Danville Family Dental practice has provided a free dental day to community members without health insurance or any other form of health care. Thomas Glibert, D.D.S. and Lisa Moster, D.D.S. opened their door to the pubic on Friday in recognition of February being National Dental Health Month.
“It’s our way as a dental practice of giving back to the community and showing our appreciation for the patronage. That’s why we are in the business we are in to help people,” said Glibert.
This year the dentists thought was a very important year to participate, especially with the layoffs and other economic troubles that many residents are facing.
“I know that there are a lot of people out there — more of a focus this year — that economically can’t afford it. I know that [the day] is a small drop in the bucket but maybe it will help,” said Glibert.
“As you can image, we have been doing this for many years and people really count on it, they depend on it. Sometimes we will have people call in the summer and say ‘we heard you do this,’ and we would like to say we could do this once a month, but once a year is what we do,” said Anita Martin, office manager.
The idea to hold a free dental day started with February being Dental Health Month and the practice continued the tradition for the past 20 years.
Any where between 75 to 100 patients are seen throughout the day.
“What we will try to do for the day is we will have a couple of hygienist in here and they’ll be cleaning people’s teeth, and if there are minor problems they may be able to address those or [the dentist] may be able to come over and address those,” said Glibert. “And on the doctor side we are seeing patients and we are trying to treat one to two teeth with each patient so we can see as many patients as we can.”
“A lot of times people do comment and I am hearing that ‘it is great that you guys do this.’ I know that the patients that we see are very appreciative,” said Glibert. “You can tell that the patients we are treating are truly appreciative.”
On the free day, he has seen a lot of new people as well as familiar faces from previous years.
“[We see] some patients that we haven’t seen before and then there may be some that we saw once eight years ago. We are hoping that we are seeing patients that can’t afford to come in on a regular bases,” said Glibert.
This year two dental hygienists, two dentists, and about a dozen staff members will give back to their community by donating their time and services.
At 8:30 a.m. Friday, the staff started seeing patients, lasting until about 2:30 p.m. Appointments were scheduled earlier in the week and, of course, the day was booked solid.
The community has been a big support of the practice by providing food during the day for the staff members.
“It’s nice. Some of the people that come in or local businesses might bring in a homemade apple pie or a bag of apples. Every year it is different. We do have this local couple that for [about] four years — and their hearts are so open to helping — that they have flipped the bill for Subway for everybody, or pizza, or a gift card for everybody to go get finger foods,” said Martin.