After joining the board of the Greater Killeen Free Clinic last year as its dental chairman, Dr. Richard House realized a need for more free dental services in the community, giving birth to the idea for the clinic’s first-ever free dental day event.
The free clinic will partner with the Killeen Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Metroplex Health System to provide free extractions, fillings and teeth cleanings to uninsured residents in the local community on Jan. 22 at House of Smiles dental office in Killeen, 5610 E. Central Texas Expressway, Suite 3.
“Dental health is extremely important because our mouth is the portal to the rest of our bodies. If our mouths aren’t healthy then the rest of us isn’t healthy. It all starts right there at the mouth. We have to have good teeth to help chew food and digest the food properly, and good healthy gums, as well,” House said.
Marlene DiLillo, executive director of the Greater Killeen Free Clinic, said the clinic already provides dental care for many of its patients, although there are no resources for some services, like fillings. The dental day event will help meet that need, she said.
“It is so gratifying to be able to offer additional services because of our partners and volunteer dental staff for the day. Poor oral health can have a negative impact on physical health, and we seek to address that issue through the Day of Smiles,” DiLillo said.
The event is a collaborative effort, not only between the partnering organizations, but also volunteer dentists and dental hygienists in the community who will perform the services.
“Dental health plays an important part in a person’s overall well-being. We see this partnership as an additional way for us to create better health throughout the community,” said Latoya Ellis, wellness coordinator for Metroplex Health System.
All eligible residents who want to participate are asked to attend a screening session at the Greater Killeen Free Clinic, 718 N. Second St.,Suite A, from 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday.
During that time a dental screening examination will determine which services are needed, and an appointment can be scheduled for the dental day event the following week.
“I’m really excited to be able to be involved in this, and I hope it’s a success,” House said.
For more information, please call the Greater Killeen Free Clinic at 254-618-4211.