1,000 Volunteers Offer Free Dental Care in Duluth

Dentists Help a Need that Continues to Increase

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The Minnesota Mission of Mercy is improving lives one smile at a time… for free!

Friday afternoon, both kids and adults filled the DECC anxiously waiting for a reason to smile. 

The arena was filled with people grinning ear to ear knowing they could be the reason someone smiles. 

It’s all thanks to the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation for helping out a need that continues to increase. 

“If I smile, I always smile with a closed mouth because I’m so self conscious,” said recipient and volunteer, Callie Vanzandt.

Showing off those pearly whites was never in the cards for Vanzandt. 

“We had this big porcelain doll and I dropped it on my face and broke the tooth out,” said Vanzandt. 

Ever since she’s had one of her front teeth missing. 

“Not having a front tooth can be a little frustrating,” said Vanzandt. 

Being one of the thousand volunteers, Callie didn’t know if she’d have time to get it fixed.

“They said we’ll make you our first patient because you are going to volunteer all day.”

But, the tooth fairy made her wish come true!

“They put the mold in my mouth and put a brand new tooth in my mouth,” said Vanzandt. 

And just like that, a brand new smile!

“I will actually for the first time, in a long time, get to take pictures that I’m very excited to take.”

But, they aren’t just any pictures. 

“I have a smile and I will get to have a tooth for my wedding pictures and I’m so excited!” 

It’s the signature accessory for her big day. 

“I get to actually smile big and not feel like there’s a big gap there,” said Vanzandt. 

Better yet, her fiance doesn’t know. 

It will be a wedding surprise!

“We give them their smile back,” said Dr. Kristie Treptow. 

And that’s why dentists do what they do. 

“I thank God I was able to be here and do this for someone else that needed it. It feels good to do something positive,” said Treptow.

More than 200 dentists and 400 hygienists helped make 2,000 people’s dream come true. 

The event will continue Saturday morning from 5:30 a.m. until all the slots are filled.

This is the 4th Free Dental Care event.

Categories: Community-imported, Health-imported, Life-imported, News-imported