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Two free dental fairs come to East County


In these tough economic times, dental care can land at the bottom of the health care to-do list.

With that in mind the Multnomah Dental Society and Sleep Dentistry of Portland are hosting two events in February designed to help those who are uninsured get the dental work they need.

The first event is the dental society's annual free children's health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Lynch View Elementary School, 1546 S.E. 169th Place.

A week later, Sleep Dentistry of Portland hosts its local Dentistry from the Heart event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at its Gresham office, 19265 S.E. Stark St.

The children's health fair features a variety of free health and dental related services including dental, vision and hearing screenings; dental treatment through mobile dental units; immunizations; information on a variety of health care topics; Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids sign up and resources and more.

Food will be provided. Each child attending will receive a 'goodie bag' that includes a toothbrush and toothpaste and information on taking care of their teeth.

The fair is held as part of the American Dental Association's nationwide program, Give Kids A Smile, which mobilizes the nation's dentists to provide free oral health care services to thousands of low-income children during February, National Children's Dental Health Month.

For more information on the health fair, contact the Multnomah Dental Society at 503-513-5010.

Dentistry from the Heart's sixth annual local event is open to people of all ages. Each patient will receive one cleaning, filling or extraction on a first-come, first-served basis.

Over the past five years of hosting the event, Sleep Dentistry of Portland has treated 413 patients and provided more than $116,000 worth of free dental care.

Dentistry from the Heart was founded in 2001 in Tampa, Fla., as a nonprofit organization to provide dental care to the growing number of Americans without dental insurance. Since then, the organization has enlisted more than 250 dental practices that have provided $8 million worth of free dental care to more than 30,000 patients across the country.

It is estimated that 100 million Americans are without dental insurance.