Dental care eases pain, shame for patients in need - FOX 13 News

Dental care eases pain, shame for patients in need

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Sandra Evans wants back something most of us take for granted: her smile.

"I felt like I lost myself. I get real stressed," she said.

Sandra is on disability and can't afford the expensive dentistry work she needs.

Imagine hiding from your own appearance.

"Lately, I do not get in the pictures and smile because I'm getting self-conscious of it," Evans said.

So Friday, she and many others waited for hours outside Monticciolo Family Dentistry in Tampa for a day of free dental care. It is the 12th year in a row of the "Dentistry from the Heart event," offering free extractions, fillings and cleanings to those in need.

"They lined up for 12 hours to be here, so I'd say they like the dentist today," said Dr. Vincent Monticciolo.

"It is the hardest day of the year we work, but we get the most hugs, thank-yous and tears. It is a good day," he added.

This event, which started in Tampa, has gone nationwide, helping thousands. Here, 300 to 500 people will get the work they otherwise couldn't afford.

"After I get all the work done I'll be so thrilled and it is like after this you want to pay it forward," Evans said.

She's having her tooth pulled, eventually hoping to replace it. Turns out her trip to the dentist isn't something she dreads, rather a blessing she's thankful for.

"I don't think you can ask for anything better," Evans said.

It is a chance for her to be happy, and show it off.

"It is going to help my self-esteem extremely," Evans said.

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