Dentists, dental specialists, hygienists, dental assistants, and office staff members throughout the state volunteered their time Nov. 1 to provide free care during the 11th annual Dentists Who Care for ME. Nearly 300 patients received free care, valued at almost $85,000, during this year’s event.

The program offers basic oral care services (cleanings, fillings, or extractions) for adults who have no other access to dental care, as well as referrals to specialists.

The annual day of free care has examined and treated nearly 5,000 patients and has provided services valued at $1.4 million since its inception.

Twenty-five patients were seen at St. Apollonia Dental Clinic in Presque Isle. Executive Director Dr. Norma Desjardins said the clinic’s participation was “a success in so many ways,” and allowed necessary care to be provided.

“It was humbling to see the need. Most of the services provided were extractions of severely decayed, sometimes abscessed teeth,” Desjardins said. “Our volunteers felt a great sense of purpose all morning, and patients expressed sincere and deep gratitude.”

Practices that participated in this year’s Dentists Who Care for ME were located in Augusta, Biddeford, Camden, Portland, Presque Isle, Scarborough, Skowhegan, South Portland, and Topsham. Dental students at the University of New England Oral Health Center in Portland also offered their services for this year’s event.

“We are always thrilled to have dental students at UNE join us for Dentists Who Care for ME, and include them in this day of care,” said MDA Executive Director Angela Westhoff.

For more information on Dentists Who Care for ME, go to

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