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‘Day of Hope’ to provide free dental services

May 29, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Free limited dental work will be available at the upcoming "A Day of Hope" event.

Hosted by the Adult Dentistry of Southwest Florida, it will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 7, with registration to open at 7 a.m. The first 200 people will be treated on a first-come, first- served basis.

"We're going to continue working, we're going to finish at 5 o'clock," Dr. Norma Jeanne Appelbaum, with Adult Dentistry of Southwest Florida, said. "We can't guarantee everyone will be treated."

Patients can choose to receive a tooth extraction, a filling or a cleaning.

"We're not doing any kind of fancy dentistry," she said, citing crowns, braces and root canals.

"We're basically going to do need-based dentistry," Appelbaum said.

If a patient chooses a cleaning, but then staff identifies a cavity, they may suggest a filling instead.

The services are free and open to the public; patients must be 18 or older and provide proof.

"We're not going to be processing any type of insurance or anything like that," she said.

No prescriptions for pain medications will be issued at the event.

Her first time hosting a "A Day of Hope" event, Appelbaum explained that she recently took part in a similar event in Tampa for FLA Mission of Mercy. More than 300 dental professionals participated. Afterward, Appelbaum was approached by the group Dentistry that Cares about holding a local event.

"That's what we do, we do mission trips, so I thought maybe we should do one in town," she said.

Organizers are unsure about what size turnout to expect.

"This is the first time we're doing it, so we have no idea," Appelbaum said.

Appelbaum, at least two other doctors and staffers will be taking part.

"We also have a lot of people volunteering to serve coffee and do paperwork," she said.

Dentists, dental assistants or hygienists who want to participate can contact the office by Thursday.

"The more, the merrier," Appelbaum said.

Participating dental professionals will receive continuing education credits.

"We want to help the community, and we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus," she said.

The public is encouraged to bring chairs as waiting lines are to be expected.

"We're just looking forward to serving as many people as we can," Appelbaum said.

Adult Dentistry of Southwest Florida is at 1519 S.E. 47th St.

For more information, contact (239) 549-6100 or



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