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Free dental care provided during Dentistry from the Heart

November 13, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Those 18 and older have the opportunity to receive free dental care during Dentistry from the Heart in Fort Myers.

Lee Dental Care Practice Owner Dr. Paul Uliasz, who started Dentistry from the Heart at Lee Dental Care, said this is the fourth annual event.

"We started in 2014. One year we skipped because we had an expansion. Instead we did Habitat for Humanity and built a house for a family," he explained.

Uliasz said he went into dentistry because he always wanted to help people. He said he traveled to the Dominican Republic three times to provide dental care before thinking that there were people in need in his own community that could use their services.

"I wanted our office to be a giving office. We wanted to give back to the community. We wanted to create a team that is giving and want to give back and unite that way," he said.

The next Dentistry from the Heart will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Lee Dental Care, 3436 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. Those 18 years and older are able to be seen during the event, which includes registration starting at 7 that morning, with the first patient being seen a little before 8 a.m.

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"We give them tickets and we take their history. We check everything. They tell us what they want to have done. We guarantee to see 200 people. Last year we helped 227," Uliasz said, adding that it equated to $73,000 donated to the community. "Two in the morning people start to gather to make sure they are being seen. It is a great event."

The Dentistry From the Heart provides free cleanings, extractions, fillings as well as some root canals. There are approximately 45 to 50 volunteers who provide their time from hygienists to dentists, who also come from other offices in the community. Lee Dental Care's sister practices Community Dental Care of North Fort Myers and Smile Cape Coral are among the volunteers.

He said all the volunteers work in shifts.

"I really enjoy being able to help so many people that could not get help anywhere else," Uliasz said. "It unites all of us and we work as a team. It's very fulfilling. It's a great day, you don't worry about the money part of it. It's a giving month of November. We feel very honored to be able to do this."

There will be games for the patients, as well as a tent that will have air condition, as patients will be waiting outdoors. The Harry Chapin Food Bank will on site providing canned foods.

"We feed them while they are waiting as well," Uliasz said.

For more information, call (239) 208-8565.

Dr. Vincent Monticciolo of New Port Richey founded Dentistry from the Heart, a nonprofit, due to him seeing a need to help adults who lack access to quality dental care. Since 2001, when the organization began, more than 500,000 people have been helped, which has provided more than $25 million in free dentistry.

 
 

 

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