Oneida dentist Dr. Bruce Stewart hosted his own event today, donating thousands of dollars in free dental care to area residents, one smile at a time.
"I have no dental insurance so I'm very glad that they're doing this because I needed a tooth, well I thought I needed a filling, and when I got here, I found out I needed a tooth pulled and this isn't something I couldn't afford to do," says Oneida resident Carol Whitney.
Whitney's not alone. More than half of the patients waiting to see Dr. Stewart are retired and without dental insurance.
"Being a retired person, I don't really have the opportunity as often as I would like to see the dentist and this was a good opportunity. If this hadn't happened, if I didn't see it in the paper, I wouldn't have come out," says Oneida resident Lou Best.
About 50% of Americans don't have dental care. Through Dentistry From The Heart, Stewart will provide his patients with cleanings, fillings, extractions, and of course, lots of smiles.
"It's really saving me a lot of money. I don't know what it would cost, I don't know where to go to get any work done, because the insurance I got just doesn't pay for it. Even basic cleaning would be nice, but ya know, you got this insurance but they just don't take care of it," says David Howland, who traveled 45 miles for his cleaning.
This is the second year Dr. Stewart is hosting Dentistry From The Heart. He says he gets the best satisfaction from giving people a new reason to smile.
"It really does make me feel good about dentistry and being able to really impact people in a very personal way," says Dr. Stewart.