The U.S. leads the pack in the percentage of older adults who have trouble paying their medical bills.
July 28--For many people in this area, professional dental care is not in their budget. So a day that sends them on their way with a new smile can be a life changing experience. Dr. Tracy Murray of 1010 Gallia St. in Portsmouth says he is out to change lives again this year as he hosts the latest Free Day of Dentistry, Aug. 9.
"Over the past six years we have seen over 835 patients," Rhonda Murray of Dr. Tracy Murray's Office said. "And we have performed services valued at almost $290,000."
Dr. Murray and a team of dentists, sponsors and volunteers are hoping to help as many people as they can by treating patients in need of fillings, extractions and cleanings.
Free Day of Dentistry is a local non-profit event with a simple mission -- making people smile. Founded in 2007, Free Day of Dentistry was created to aid those in need, including the growing population of underinsured Americans.
Dr. Murray said without events like Free Day of Dentistry, dental care simply isn't an option for many of the uninsured.
"It's very rewarding," Rhonda Murray said. "Some of the people in our community do not have the means, so we just feel like this can help them out in every way we can. It is just an enjoyable day. It is awesome."
Last year the line formed early in the morning. In fact, some people arrived the night before to get a place in line for their free dental care. Others began arriving at 4 a.m. the day of the event. Doctors began to see patients at around 9 a.m.
"Now more than ever I know there's a person out there that needs my services but has no means to afford them, whether they're out of a job or just don't have dental insurance," Dr. Murray said. "The Free Day of Dentistry event is my way of giving back to the community and being there for the people who are in need of dental work."
Rhonda Murray said people can call their office at 740-354-3368 to schedule their prescreening.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.
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