Smiles shone on the faces of volunteers and patients alike at Advanced Dental Concepts (ADC) of Pace for ADC's annual free day. ADC provided cleanings, fillings, and extractions at no cost on a first come, first served basis. Diane Masaitis, business administrator with ADC said, "Some people got here at 2:30 p.m. yesterday. I got here at 5 a.m. and there were already 50 people waiting." By 1 p.m., people were waiting outside and inside to be seen. One of those patients, Tim Lothrop, said he came to have two teeth extracted. "It means a lot. I'm saving more than $1,000." Lothrop said popcorn set off his tooth problems and he's been dealing with his dental issues for about a month. He also said he has a five-year-old son who needs dental surgery as well. Lothrop said he would have had to deal with the cost of his own problems as well as his sons's if not for ADC's event. "It's a very big deal, unbelievable," he said. Lothrop said having a problem with one tooth can give your whole mouth pain.
Nancy Randolph said she came for a cleaning and a filling. "I was at the store and saw all these people across the street," Randolph said. "I just got dental insurance but I would still have to pay 60 percent for a filling," she said. Randolph also said, "It's amazing. It's a blessing. I came here eight months ago for getting a tooth pulled and it cost $140. This is great. I really appreciate this."
Holley Mills, a dental assistant of two years with ADC said, "It's very humbling to be able to give back to the community like this." Mills said she was happy to see patients talking and getting to know each other. "The staff is smiling and excited. Itís hard work but everyone is happy by the end of the day."
Chelsey Huber, first-year student in Pensacola State College's dental hygienist program, said, "It's been interesting. I got to see a tooth pulled. I never get to see those. We strictly do cleanings and hygienic treatment. Clinics are a lot different from a dental office." Huber said she's looking forward to getting out of school and in an office. Huber said some University of West Florida pre-dental students volunteered for the event as well.
Masaitis said Subway donated food for the event and Pensacola's soft rock station 94.1 WMEZ played music as well. Other sponsors included Milton Bakery, Rise N' Roll Cafe, Yolanda Peacher Dental Supply, and Pace's Grocery Outlet. Dr. Noel Spurlock along with Drs. Ed and Forrest Faulkner, Dr. Kaitlin Forshee, and Dr. Ed Shehee assisted in the volunteer mission.