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Free Dental Care Event Also an Awareness Raiser

Tom Flanigan

Anyone who's visited the dentist lately knows that care can be expensive. But dozens of local dentists and their helpers on Saturday (Feb. 10) were providing free care for around 100 patients.

For much of the day, the sparkling new Periodontal Associates of North Florida offices near the corner of Centerville Road and Capital Circle was a humming bee hive of activity. Associates Partner Dr. Walt Colon said volunteer dentists and their support staff came from all over.

"And we have about 55 or 60 staff members who have shown up today to help us in addition to our 30 (in-house staff)."

Besides the good deed aspect of this fifth annual "Dentistry from the Heart" outreach, Dr. Colon said there was also an awareness aspect for everyone.

"Almost half of the population has periodontal disease and since it doesn't hurt, we don't address it or know about it and get help."

Meaning regular dental care, even if it's not free, is critical to good overall health.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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