On average, adults saved $677 between exams, x-rays and tooth extractions.
Pete Ruiz could barely speak.
The 29-year-old Palm Coast resident mumbled and wriggled his hands as he tried to convey his gratitude.
Ruiz had a massive cotton ball in his mouth to stop the bleeding from the two tooth extractions he had just endured.
“He’s trying to say he feels very blessed,” dental assistant Priscilla Garcia said. “He needed this.”
Ruiz was one of the many patients who showed up at Smiles on Cypress Point, located at 85 Cypress Point Parkway, as part of the office’s free dental day on Saturday, Aug. 5.
To celebrate the fifth-year anniversary of the practice, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., a team of dentists, assistants and volunteers provided extractions for adults and cleanings for children 13 and under — free of charge. Dentists from other practices showed up to help, as well.
“The goal was just to give back to our community,” said Dr. Sarah Gibbs, who organized the event. “I’ve actually been overwhelmed by all the people who came to help out. Our whole team is here to help people, and it’s been a fun day.”
Gibbs, who has been at the practice for about four years, said that when she arrived at the office at 7 a.m., there was already a line forming. She said the earliest person to arrive did so at 6 a.m.
“It’s better to give than to receive,” she said. “I just feel blessed to be able to do this.”
On average, adults saved $677 between exams, x-rays and extractions, and teeth cleanings typically cost $59.
Flagler Beach resident Wanda Wahl hauled all three of her children out to receive free oral care.
“Raising kids is a lot, and dental doesn’t come cheap,” Wahl said. “I love that they give back to the community like this. It’s wonderful.”