Dental professionals and volunteers worked together for the benefit of area people in need at their 14th annual “Dentists with a Heart Day” on Feb. 15. The event was sponsored by the Mesquite Rotary Club, and occurred at the Mesquite dental offices of Dr. Byron McKnight and Dr. Ken Taylor, who donated their services and facility for the day.
McKnight’s and Taylor’s new larger offices at 2856 N. Galloway enabled more dentists to provide essential services to more of the community’s underserved and indigent patients. In a very successful effort, this team served 50 area patients in need, providing them with life-changing care through free dental services that would normally have been worth a total of $50,000. The patients were referred for the event from Sharing Life Ministries, Genesis Women’s Center, Jubilee, Word International Church, Mesquite ISD, and others.
Also involved were dentists Dr. Sloan Hildebrand, Dr. Tim Nguyen, Dr. Tommy Reed, and Dr. Richard Dirksen, periodontist Dr. Nathan Hodges, hygienists Lisa Blanton and Sandy Collins, and 20 other volunteers. Helm Dental Lab provided the lab work for everyone in advance, and onsite which included partial and full dentures. This team provided cleanings, fillings, prosthetics, and extractions for patients. Many of the patients reported that they could now feel secure in finding a job, seeking a promotion, or seeking a better job.
The dentists and hygienists working at the event also provided dental education and hygiene instructions to the patients in attendance. Also participating were the Mesquite Whataburger and Chick-fil-a restaurants, who donated breakfast and lunch meals to support the dental personnel and volunteers.
The Mesquite Rotary Club was established in 1959, and meets at noon each Tuesday at the Dallas Athletic Club. For more information on the group, visit their website at mesquitetxrotary.org.