Dentists from the Brentwood Baptist Medical/Dental Unit performed 145 free extractions Saturday and Sunday morning. (photos by Sheldon Livesay)
ROGERSVILLE — The Tooth Fairy was working overtime this weekend in Hawkins County thanks to a volunteer dental group based near Nashville that came to Rogersville to provide free dental care Saturday and Sunday morning focused mainly on extractions.
Over the two day period the Brentwood Baptist Medical/Dental Unit from Brentwood, Tenn. saw 53 patients and pulled 145 teeth, as well as performing some fluorination mainly for children, and consultations by a medical doctor.
In August the Brentwood unit spent a day in Sneedville and a day in Rogersville, and afterwards determined there was a need to come back to Rogersville for two days focusing mainly on extractions.
Rogersville’s Of One Accord ministry hosted the Brentwood unit which parked its mobile unit at the Shepherd’s Center on Main Street.
Of One Accord director Sheldon Livesay said the Brentwood unit plans on returning to Rogersville three or four times in 2014.
“Most insurance plans don’t cover dental, and we just have a lot people in this area who have pain all the time, but they can’t afford to have their teeth pulled,” Livesay said. “When a (free) dentist does come in, they don’t want fillings, they just want the teeth pulled out. Normally, if you’ve got any income at all you want to save your teeth and take care of them the best you can, but we find if somebody comes and just wants them pulled they probably fall into that low income area.”
Livesay added, “The last time they (Brentwood) were hear they did just cleanings, but this time it was mainly extractions. They saw such a need for that, that’s where they put all their emphasis.”
On Saturday the two dentists worked from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., and Sunday morning they wrapped up at noon.
The Brentwood unit’s future visits will focus on other aspects of dental care as well. Livesay said sign-ups to see a dentist will be announced ahead of time, and he expects there to be a waiting list.