staff members and patients were all smiles the morning of Aug. 24, while dentists and hygenists donated their time and resources to the community.
The one day was part of Dentistry From The Heart, a national non-profit focused on providing free dental care to those who cannot afford it, according to their website.
"There is definitely a lot of people underserved in the community that don't have access to dental care," said Dr. Dan Di Cesare of Aberdeen Family Dental, noting that people without dental care often try to ignore a problem until it becomes too painful, and then visit the emergency room.
Dr. Todd Prager, who runs the practice along with Di Cesare, emphasized the importance of Dentistry From The Heart.
"We have to give back to the community because we've been very fortunate," he said.
"The patients are really appreciative. They're not demanding anything, they are appreciative and grateful," Di Cesare added.
Patients seeking dental care arrived at the office throughout the day and were seen on a first come, first serve basis, explained Di Cesare. There was a prescreening process to determine the needs of the patient.
"We find out if they need an exraction, a cleaning, or have a cavity," Di Cesare said. "Typically we limit it to about one procedure."
When the office opened at 8:30 a.m., several patients were already lined up outside, Di Cesare said. Within the first hour, the practice had provided close to 20 cleanings and several emergency procedures.
The next Dentistry From The Heart event in Monmouth County will take place on Oct. 11 at Newman Springs Dental Care in Lincroft.