SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Howard Family Dental’s Free Day of Dentistry returns for the 11th year this week.
Those going to Howard’s Pooler location on Friday can receive a free dental procedure: a cleaning, a filling or an extraction. The event will serve the first 250 patients in line. Numbers will be given out at 6:30 Friday morning, with procedures beginning at 8 a.m.
The day has spun into a local tradition. Howard Family Dental started the event during the last recession as people were forced to drop health insurance or suspend dental care. It’s continued to be the practice’s busiest, but most fulfilling day of the year.
“It’s controlled chaos,” said Dr. Julie Howard. “It’s exciting, everybody is here, everybody is serving with an open heart. We want to share as many wonderful smiles, get to know as many of the patients as we can, hear their stories and share our story with them. and just focus on what the holidays are all about. This is the beginning of the holiday season, time to give thanks, Christmas around the corner, I mean you want it to just be a joyful time and spread that joy and as many smiles as we can.”
The day has expanded to include other free health services, including flu shots, blood pressure screenings, and mammograms. The dentist’s office will also provide food boxes from America’s Second Harvest to help families enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, one more reason for the timing of the event.
“We chose the Friday before Thanksgiving because it’s a time for us to reflect back upon all of our blessings that this community has gracefully accepted and given us,” said Dr. Howard. “And it’s a time for everyone to stop and count their blessings. Yes, we’re providing a service for them, but we want people to feel that, no matter what point they are in their life, that their life is blessed and it is full.”
The Free Day of Dentistry will take place at Howard’s Pooler location at 91 Brighton Woods Drive. People will probably start lining up by midnight to get those numbers that will be distributed at 6:30 a.m. Friday.