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Local dentists to offer day of free dental work

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:37 PM

Smiles from the Heart has brought together dozens of volunteers to offer care to people in need, regardless of income or age, Dr. Darren Riopelle said.

“There are people who need these services but have no means to afford them,” he explained. “Smiles from the Heart is our way of giving back to the community.”          

Last year, Smiles from the Heart served about 180 patients and provided $75,000 in free dental work, Riopelle said. This year, more local dentists will be joining the effort, bringing the total to eight.

“Having an unhealthy mouth can really affect a person’s entire body,” Riopelle said. “Some people we see need a cleaning in order to maintain their healthy mouths. But for most, we eliminate or deter pain and infection. It’s an empowering day for both the patients and volunteers.”

Smiles from the Heart will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with registration beginning at 7 a.m. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Services will be provided at two locations in Grand Haven: Smile Grand Haven/Little Smiles, 1203 S. Beechtree St.; and Drs. Bowen and Thornley, 17000 Robbins Road.

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