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Colorado dentists keep promise

Grand Junction, Colo.—Last September, a unanimous decision was made.

IMAGE: Dr. Julie Gillis and her team flash smiles on the second annual Free Dental Day in Grand Junction, Colo.
Team effort: Dr. Julie Gillis (third from left) and her team flash smiles on the second annual Free Dental Day in Grand Junction, Colo.
The first Free Dental Day organized by Dr. Julie Gillis, a general dentist, Dr. Kenneth Perino, an oral surgeon, and Dr. Duane Weenig, a periodontist, was such a success in September 2010 that the team unabashedly decided to repeat the event this year. On Sept. 24, they made good on their claim.

Between the three offices, $71,829 in free dental care was performed on 130 patients, who began waiting in line at 3:30 a.m. the day prior to the event. The dentists, with the help of their staff, volunteers and sponsoring businesses, provided extractions, cleanings, X-rays, composite restorations, fluoride treatments, oral cancer evaluations, biopsies and periodontal surgeries.

“I love dentistry, and I wanted a way to give back to this community which has given me so much,” Dr. Gillis said.

“The patients were very appreciative, and we noted that a few who had received treatment in 2010 returned for additional treatment in 2011. Each patient also received oral hygiene instruction and a goodie bag filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and lip balm. We hope that this will be an annual event.”