This past weekend, Dr. Cheek, Jordan, and Kelly volunteered at the Georgia Dental Association’s annual Mission of Mercy which was held at the fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia. Around 2000 people who are financially unable to afford dental treatment were seen and given free dental care including fillings, extractions, cleanings, and partial dentures. Every patient also received instruction in proper oral hygiene and was educated about the importance of dental health to the entire body. So many people that came to the Mission of Mercy were desperate for pain relief or replacement of their missing teeth in hopes of being able to smile and chew and were willing to camp out overnight in the parking lot to ensure that they would get to see a dentist.
One man with two broken and two missing front teeth wanted his smile restored so he could get a job. He said that his resume got him many interviews, but once he arrived at the business in person, it was obvious that the interviewer was staring at his teeth. He said he was never called back for a second interview or offered a job. There were many stories of people hoping that restoration of their smiles would help them find employment.
Dr. Cheek examined a young mother in her twenties who had such badly decayed teeth that she needed them all removed and replaced with a denture. Hundreds of young people like her had teeth removed that could have been saved if they had been educated about prevention and treated by a dentist years earlier.
There were also people who were putting their faith in having dental insurance in the future, but unfortunately they are misinformed about dental insurance. Many people don’t realize that insurance maximums, which have remained unchanged for the last 20 years, are typically only $1500 a year which doesn’t go far if you need a mouth full of treatment.
Living in East Cobb where people are more educated about the importance of good dental health has sheltered us from seeing these types of patients who are so desperate for dental care. Our team does occasionally see those in need come through our practice, and we are thankful that God has chosen us to be the ones to give the blessing of dental treatment. All of us at Cheek Dental look forward to the 2016 GA Mission of Mercy where we will again see God at work in the hearts of our community members. If you have teeth that are healthy enough to smile and eat the foods you want, be thankful! And for Heaven’s sake, FLOSS them!