ANDERSON — Ashley Gray was more than willing to drive from New Castle to Anderson to help ease the pain in her teeth.
Gray was among dozens of patients Saturday who came to Free Dentistry Day at Anderson Family Dental, 777 Broadway. Although Gray, 28, got in line at 7 a.m., it was particularly rewarding for her. She has no dental insurance.
“I think it is a wonderful thing for people who are not able to afford it,” she said. “I’ve been here all day, but it was worth it to get rid of the pain.”
Normally there is a catch when something is offered for free, but that was not the case for the 85 patients who had their teeth cleaned, filled or pulled on Saturday.
It really was a free service.
Anderson Family Dental provided more than $29,000 in services to those in need. The dental work, offered to people of all ages, did not have any income requirements or limitations and was well attended, officials said. More than 1,200 people had liked and shared the news of the event on Facebook weeks before the event and more than 12,000 had viewed the announcement.
Dr. Devanshu Chowdhary, a dentist at Anderson Family Dental, said each procedure was averaging about 15 to 30 minutes.
The first patients arrived at 3:30 a.m.
“I have no idea how many people we have seen,” Chowdhary said around 2 p.m. “We decided to do this to give back to the community.”
The free services helped those like Traci Smith, 22, Anderson, who also has no dental insurance. Smith sat for hours on the blacktop parking lot outside the dentistry waiting to have a cavity filled.
“They have been awesome,” Smith said.
Kate Wright, a practice administrator for the dental office, organized the day of free services and said this was the first time the free services had been offered by Anderson Family Dental. The event will be an annual one, she said.