This past weekend, patients of Traverse Health Clinic received the wonderful gift of a new smile. Heaven D.E.N.T., the second volunteer weekend of its kind, was initiated two years ago by an area dentist who heard that there were a bunch of edentulous patients at Traverse Health Clinic in need of dentures. Determined to provide a solution, Dr. David Swan, D.D.S. enlisted the help of Doug Baker, founder of D.H. Baker Dental Laboratory. Between the two of them, they rallied a number of well-established dental professionals. Swan and Baker’s collaboration culminated in Heaven D.E.N.T. (Delighting the Edentulous with New Teeth) and the first event was held in January 2011.
This past Saturday, Heaven D.E.N.T. 2 provided 19 more patients either full 0r partial dentures – and a new reason to smile. Hosted at Traverse Dental Associates, 8 community dentists including Drs. Ron Chao, Stephen Dewey, Macaire Lumbrezer, Heather Pfefferle, Peter Piche, Dave Swan, Josh VanHorn and Phil Yancho enlisted 17 staff volunteers and came together to meet a great community need. Other collaborators included 9 dental technicians from D.H. Baker Dental Laboratory: Jan Babel, Maureen Hubbell, Terry Lalonde, Colleen LaVack, Matt LaVack, Matt Mrozkowski, Megan Sheets, Beth Webster, Valerie Workman, and 4 dental students. Even the non-dental community helped out: Old Mission Multigrain and Big Apple Bagel provided soup and bread to feed the volunteers and patients.
One of those recipients of a new smile gratefully wrote, “I wish to express my appreciation for essentially turning my life around. I was becoming somewhat reclusive regarding my “smile” and facial features while eating. My teeth have been a problem for some time now making me very self-concious. I was totally thrilled with this opportunity.”
Another wrote, “I want to thank everyone who took their time out of their lives to help me. Thank you guys so much. You changed my life more than you’ll every know.”