Having a toothache is something many people have experienced, but not everyone can afford to see a dentist.
Statesboro dentist Dr. Richard Marz realizes this, and through a program called “A Gift of Dentistry,” he and partnering volunteers hope to help scores of area residents who can’t afford dental care.
The one-day of dental care at no charge to those 18 and older will be held Friday, Dec. 10th, from 8 a.m. “until we get done,” he said. However, space is limited, so he urges people to show up early in order to secure a spot.
A local outreach, the Hearts and Hands Clinic offers a no-cost dental clinic year-round, but it is limited and the waiting list is sometimes long.
Marz and his associate, Dr. Alex Brown, have teamed up with volunteers from East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery and Ogeechee Technical College’s dental assisting program to hold “A Gift of Dentistry” in order to provide as much dental care to as many people as possible.
“We hope to serve more, but we guarantee to help at least 60 people,” he said.
The services offered are one cleaning, one filling or one extraction. They will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, he said.
This year is the seventh year the program has been offered. Anyone 18 or older who is “truly in need of dental care” is eligible, he said.
Marz and his team of volunteers will begin triaging patients at 8 a.m. They will stop checking people in at 12 pm but will continue treating until they’re finished. Cleanings, fillings and x-rays will be completed in Marz’s office (Premier Dental Wellness, 1130 Brampton Avenue). Those needing extractions will be referred to East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery, located near Premier Dental Wellness.
While the services are no charge for patients, those involved are volunteering their time and services to the community for free, Marz said. That is why he hopes people help spread the word so they can help as many as possible.
Two years ago, about 75 people were served, and they began lining up very early to make sure they got a spot on the list, he said.
There is no need to call the office for an appointment, as the services will be offered to those in the order that they arrive, he said.
Marz has been in dentistry 37 years, 33 of those spent practicing in Statesboro.