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Free day of dentistry aimed at helping community

By Wayne Allen, The Portsmouth Daily Times, Ohio
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 10--Dr. Tracy Murray and a team of dentists held the annual free day of dentistry Saturday at Murray's office 1010 Gallia St., in Portsmouth. Throughout the day an estimated 140 people were doing to be seen by Murray and his team.

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 under insured Americans. Since the annual event was created, it's estimated that 835 patients have been seen with an estimated $290,000 in services provided.

"It is an amazing day where we provide free dentistry to people in need in the community, who may not have dental insurance," said Matraca Montavon, daughter of Dr. Murray said.

She said throughout the day they will do fillings, extractions and a host of other services to those seeking services.

Dr. Murray said without events like Free Day of Dentistry, dental care simply isn't an option for many of the uninsured.

"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."

In 2013, 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.

When asked about the value of a free day of dentistry to the people it helps, Montavon said, "I think it's a huge value. Everyone cares about their teeth and everyone values looking nice and feeling good about themselves. I think in this community it's (dentistry) something that may get overlooked, because of the struggling economy. This day is a huge value to people who may be having problems."

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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(c)2014 The Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio)

Visit The Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) at www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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