Thirty individuals received free dental services last Oct. 7 for Saipan Seventh-day Adventist Clinic's second “Clinic With a Heart” this year.
Dental hygienist Lori Serna said yesterday that Sunday's event was not announced to the public since it was only held to accommodate some 100 community members who lined up during their first Clinic With a Heart last May 27.
Serna said they called them all but only a handful showed up, in addition to several individuals who were not on the list but took a chance to wait in the line and see if SDA Clinic will have room for them.
Among these hopefuls was Chalan Piao resident Dionisio Santos, whose toothache forced him to wait outside the clinic along Quartermaster Road as early as 6am.
A golf course maintenance staff at Coral Ocean Point, Santos said it's been difficult for him to seek dental services since their company did not renew their dental insurance.
“Dental services are quite expensive on island, that's why I decided to take my chance and see if I could receive it for free,” said the 40-year-old Santos, adding that his wife also encouraged him to avail of the free dental services.
“I'm really thankful that SDA Clinic provides this kind of assistance to the community. It means a lot, especially for us who don't have dental insurance,” he added.
According to Serna, services provided last Sunday were valued at $16,500 and included exams and x-rays, cleaning, gum therapy, fillings, extractions, and root canals.
These services were provided by four dentists, three hygienists, and eight other staff who all volunteered to provide free services and share oral health education. All patients received free toothbrushes as giveaways.
“We are happy to give back to the community that has given so much to us,” said Serna.