A smile is typically what people notice first during a job interview or other important first meetings. For those without adequate dental care, chipped, broken, or cavity-ridden teeth often bring anxiety and shame.
In order to help bring the smile back to those in the local community, dentists at South Hill Dental are hosting a free dental care day on Saturday (Sept. 26). The event is first come, first served for those in need of care.
“We will do extractions and fillings for everyone,” said Dr. Kunal Walia, dentist and co-owner of South Hill Dental. “We will do cleanings, but only for kids ages 13 and under.”
For four years, Walia and his staff have served anywhere from 50 to 150 patients at the practice’s annual event.
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“We usually cap the number of patients at 125,” he said.
Walia, his entire staff, volunteers and colleagues from other practices feel the gratitude following each dental procedure or cleaning the team does.
“We ask them what their biggest concern is and that’s what we take care of,” he said.
A few years back, Walia and his staff were treating a patient who had cavities an all four of her front teeth.
“When we were finished, she was so happy that she was in tears,” he said. “She said she could finally smile again, and had the confidence to go to job interviews.”
As Walia puts it, the front teeth are what people see first, and are often the priority for patients that attend the free dental day.
“It’s such a big deal for comfort and confidence,” he said.
Walia and his father, Dr. Harinder Walia, feel it is their practice’s duty to give back to their community. While the Walias have lofty dreams of one day doing a similar event in their native India, the younger Walia says they can’t do that until they take care of their own community.
“There’s so many people in need in our own community,” Walia said. “With the cost of dental care, most people opt for health insurance instead, if they can’t afford both. A lot of adults and children aren’t seen (by a dentist) because they can’t afford it.”
“We need to help our own community before we can help abroad,” Walia continued.
With Walia’s staff all living within the local area, giving back to their community is something everyone feels strongly about.
The Free Dental Day is slated for Saturday (Sept. 26) at the clinic’s office, 13613 Meridian E., Suite 180, Puyallup. The first 125 patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis. One filling, extraction, or emergency treatment will be allotted to adult patients.
For more information, call 253-845-3000.