WINCHESTER — When people struggle to pay for basic necessities, dental care becomes a luxury they cannot afford.
Shenandoah Family Dentistry in Winchester is giving those people something to smile about with a day of free cleanings, fillings and extractions.
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the practice in suite 102 at 1705 Amherst St. It is being held in partnership with the national nonprofit organization Dentistry from the Heart.
“There are some offices that have been doing it for years, but this is our first time,” Shenandoah Family Dentistry Marketing Director Ashley Kittel said.
Patients will be allowed to choose one of three procedures — cleaning, filling or extraction — and the first 50 people who arrive are guaranteed to be seen.
“We’re hoping to exceed that [number during the eight-hour event],” Kittel said.
People seeking treatment must be 18 years old or older and agree to a brief health exam. There are no income or residency requirements.
Patients who need fillings or extractions will be treated by one of Shenandoah Family Dentistry’s two dentists — Jared Pell and Blaine Travis Bohrer — or oral surgeon James Pell, who is Jared Pell’s father and has volunteered his services for the day.
Shenandoah Family Dentistry has been in Winchester for 18 years and moved to its current location on Amherst Street five years ago to accommodate an increasing number of patients.
“We’ve been very blessed, very fortunate as a practice to continue to grow,” Jared Pell said. “We feel it is time to give back to the community.”
The office is planning a second dentistry event this fall in association with Smiles for Freedom, a nonprofit organization that arranges free dental services for veterans and members of the military.
“There are a lot of people out there who can’t afford dental care because it’s very expensive, so we want to offer these days to help them out,” Jared Pell said.
In the event a participant in this Friday’s Dentistry from the Heart event needs follow-up care, Jared Pell said, “We’re not going to leave anyone stranded. If they’re having discomfort from a procedure that’s done, we’ll be happy to get them in and take care of that, free of charge.”
Shenandoah Family Dentistry has been preparing for its first Dentistry from the Heart event for nearly a year, and Jared Pell said he’s grateful that it’s finally going to happen.
“We’re happy,” he said. “We’re excited.”