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163 patients get $81,718 free dental care ~ courtesy of the Texas Smiles Foundation

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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 7:45 pm

163 patients received free dental care worth $81,718 Sat., Aug. 18 at Liberty Center, including x-rays, an average of $501 per patient. The only care not provided at the remote location was anything needing lab services, such as crowns and dentures. 40 dentists arrived in Liberty from all over the state to volunteer for the Texas Smiles Foundation. Saturday’s one-day event was organized by the Greater Houston Dental Society District 8.

At the event, Dr. Don Lukes, Smiles Foundation Board State Chairman, commented, “We are seeing a lot of decay, Methamphetamine addiction and the terrible oral consequences thereof, mostly from neglect”. Lukes added, “We are filling and taking out teeth that are no longer working in their mouths. … Our next event will be in Beaumont on Oct. 5-6.”

This one-day events is a small-venue Mission of Mercy.

The portable unit that each dentist worked out of Saturday boxes up and fits in a case. The cases go in the trailer and will be taken to Austin next. The chair folds up, flattens down and goes in a pouch.

The one-day event offered 14 chairs, five dental hygienists, 40 dentists and was set up to provided free dental care to residents of rural areas who are either indigent or have no geographical access to dental services. Ron Folmar, of Palestine, travels with the events setting up the equipment and repacking it at the end of the day for the next venue.

Lukes detailed, “We are going to be in Mount Pleasant in November and then Atlanta. The Mount Pleasant event will be held at Northeast Texas Community College, so the portable units will not be needed.”

Juan Venegas, owner of Casa Don Boni Mexican Restaurant fed the group of dentists and volunteers, and gave them a $500 discount on meals.

Volunteer dentists included:

Sam Adams, of Houston

David Arnold, of Liberty

Suzanne Baldwin, of Houston

Woody Barbsdale, of Kingwood

Michael Bartlett, of Port Arthur

Stephen Beyer, of Liberty

Larry Brunson, of Seabrook

Rita Cammarata, of Houston

Lee Clitheroe, of Sugar Land

Hetal Desai, of Mission

Carin Domann, of Houston

Tanvi Dusane, of Houston

Akbar Ebrahimian, of Sugar Land

Yolanda Franzen, of Houston

Piya Gandhi, of Houston

Mike Giesler, of Atlanta

Michael Gonzalez, of Houston

Deborah Hohn, of Baytown

Janet Globe Hood, of Seabrook

Dean Hutto, of Baytown

Amy Huynh-Tran, of Bellaire

Laji James, of Houston

Kent Macauley, of Round Rock

Gorganne McCandless, of Huffman

Theresa McLean, of Bellaire

Harry E. Nichols, of Huffman

Gregory Palmer, of Bellaire

Joe Piazza, Jr., of Cypress

Jackson Porter, of Beaumont

Gregory Rashall, of Liberty

Victor Rodriguez, of Houston

K. Robert Seaberg, of Dayton

Shelley Seidel, of Houston

Andre Singleton, of El Paso

SOO Pre-Dental Students, from University of Houston

Suvendra Vijayan, of Houston

Gary Williams, of Houston

Spencer Wood, of Houston, and last, but not least

Beverly Zinser, of Georgetown

Texas Mission of Mercy (TMOM) is a mobile dental clinic that travels around the state providing free dental care to uninsured Texans. Designed to be as diverse as Texas, there are three sizes of TMOM events. These events provide relief from pain, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and a limited number of partials. All services rendered at TMOMs are free of charge to patie

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