“I’m glad that he (Dr. Murray) is doing this today. I feel blessed, because this tooth is hurting me and I don’t want to put up with it no more,” Woodson said.
“This is a wonderful program,” the 26-year-old Lambert agreed. “I’ve probably waited too long to have this cavity filled. It’s going to have to come out, I’m sure.”
Murray, assisted by Dr. Hal Jeter, was hosting his fourth annual Free Day of Dentistry under the “Denistry From the Heart” program. It was held all day Saturday.
His wife and assistant, Rhonda Murray, said 110 patients were seen and received a free cleaning, filling or extraction.
“It tallied up to about $33,000 worth of dental services being offfered,” she said.
A crowd of a couple dozen waited outside the office by 10 a.m. A tent set up in the parking lot provided shade and there were coolers filled with cold water to drink.
Appointments were in advance for some senior citizens so they did not have to wait in the heat, Rhonda Murray said.
She said several businesses and individuals donated services, time and products — including food — to assist with the program. She listed 25 businesses that had served as sponsors.
Dentistry From the Heart is a national non-profit organization with a simple mission — making people smile.
It was founded in 2001 to help people in need, especially a growing population of those who are uninsured.
Its founders estimate that more than 100 million Americans lack dental insurance and nearly 30 percent of adults have untreated cavities because of it.
Murray said he and his team in the last four years have provided 416 people in the Portsmouth area with nearly $122,000 worth of free dentistry.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236, or email@example.com.