PANAMA CITY, FL – Panama City Smiles, a comprehensive dental office that treats patients of all ages, recently provided more than 100 patients with free dentistry as part of the national program Dentistry From The Heart.
The staff of Panama City Smiles held its third annual Dentistry From The Heart program on Sept. 18. Dentistry From the Heart is a national program that provides free dental services to underinsured or uninsured adults. In the three years Panama City Smiles has hosted the event, the practice has given away tens of thousands of dollars in dental care.
“We’re proud to offer this event because it benefits the entire community,” said Dr. Anish Patel, who operates Panama City Smiles. “For some of these patients who do not have access to dental insurance, this is the only dental care they will receive for the entire year, so we want to make this day a positive experience for them.”
During the program, Dr. Patel works with his dental staff to provide free examinations, cleanings, fillings and extractions. The practice guarantees treatment for the first 100 patients of the day. Local community members and organizations also volunteer to provide free food and services outside the practice.
Dentistry From The Heart is a nationwide project that started in Florida, but only about one percent of all dentists across the country host an annual event. Until this year, Panama City Smiles was the only dental practice located in Florida’s panhandle to provide Dentistry From The Heart.
“This event grows in popularity every year, which tells us that there are likely thousands of people across the state in need of quality dental care,” Dr. Patel said. “This is one of our favorite days of the year because we get to see so many patients leave our practice with a smile on their face.”
Christa Riley, a staff member at Panama City Smiles, said it was inspiring to help some many people in just a few short hours.
“My legs may be weary and my eyes may be tired, but my heart is so full it may burst,” Riley said after the event. “Today’s Dentistry From The Heart event was a huge success, and I not only had the opportunity to be a part of touching one person’s life, but 112 lives. As I was driving home, all I could do was smile when I thought about the people that touched my heart today while they told me their stories.”
Panama City Smiles, 1022 Harrison Ave., offers general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics for adults and children and dental implants to replace individual missing teeth or to stabilize dentures. The practice uses the latest technology to provide quality dental care to its patients. Dr. Patel uses digital X-rays, which reduce radiation exposure, and intraoral cameras to teach patients about proper oral health techniques.
As a cosmetic dentist, Dr. Patel provides durable porcelain veneers, dental crowns, KoR whitening deep bleaching and ClearCorrect, a system that uses clear aligners to straighten crooked teeth. ClearCorrect is virtually undetectable and can correct crooked teeth, gapped teeth and mild bite issues.
Dr. Patel, who grew up in England, earned his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and then his dental degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Dr. Patel is committed to advancing his skills in dentistry and takes more than 100 hours in continuing education every year. Following dental school, he completed a three-year program on progressive orthodontics and has extensive training in cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.
To hear more about Dr. Patel or Panama City Smiles’ free day of dentistry, call the office at 850-588-0185.