PACE — For the ninth year, Advanced Dental Concepts gave back to the community with a day of free dental work on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The family-owned dental office has been in its current location, at 4041 Highway 90, for more than 40 years. During this annual event, the entire staff works all day to provide cleanings, fillings and extractions for patients who can’t afford dental care.

“There are a lot of people in the community that do not have any way to have their teeth fixed or any way to afford to go to the dentist,” ADC’s Office Manager Diane Masaitis said. “Even if they have insurance, their co-pay is still so high that they just can’t do it. A lot of times we see people that have neglected their teeth because they don’t have the funds to pay for it.”

Members of the University of West Florida’s Pre-Dental Society shadowed the doctors and hygienists and offered assistance during procedures.

“They love coming to this, and we love having them here,” Masaitis said. “We ask for a lot of help from our community.”

Several community businesses — including Milton Quality Bakery, Panera Bread, Santino’s Pizza, Zaxby’s and Chick-Fil-A — partner with ADC for this charitable day by supplying food for the patients.

“We do it just to help the people that want help,” Masaitis said. “The only requirement we have is that you be over 18 years old. Other than that, we don’t care. We try to treat all these people just the way that we treat our other patients.

“We’re just happy to be able to do this and to give back to our community, because all of us have been in the situation where we’ve needed help.”