Smiles From The Heart

By Ka'Seana Blanton | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- It was all smiles at Chandler Park Dental Care today as they held their fourth annual Smiles From The Heart event.

Cleanings, pullings, and fillings were taking place from room to room at Chandler Park today as free dental care was provided to those in need.

"It's mainly for people who might be struggling, maybe in a financial bind and who otherwise might not be able to get some needed dental care. It's just something we do once a year for the community. It's just our way of giving back a little bit," said Dr. Eli Jackson.

Doctors and volunteers came to Bowling Green from around the U.S to help. Some as far as Pennsylvania.

"What a blessing it is to be here to help people who are unfortunate and can't really afford the dental care that they need. It's just a blessing to come here today and help people," said Lisa Reese a volunteer from Pennsylvania.

Diane Gentry was one of today's patients that overcame her fear of the dentist.

"I don't even know how to explain how I feel right now, because I've never been able to go through to going to a dentist," said Gentry.

After doctors fixed a chipped tooth Gentry smiled showing her teeth for the first time in years.

"I feel like a different person because I usually smile with my mouth shut or cover my mouth and now I can actually smile. It makes you feel good, it makes you feel really good," said Gentry.

Another patient had two wisdom teeth removed that had been making him ill. He said this was his first trip to the dentist in 47 years.

"I'm so grateful and thankful to all the people who donated their time today, cause I'm sure there is a lot of people out there like me whose not had the opportunity to see a dentist, so it's a blessing, it really is," said Shannon Hale.

Dr. Jackson said helping the community was just as rewarding for the volunteers as it was for the patients.

By the end of the day Chandler Park had seen 185 patients and had done 73,000 worth of free dentistry!

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