PARMA, Ohio — A new report out this week from the American Dental Association says about 40% of young patients skipped dental appointments during the pandemic, which is causing more tooth decay and cavities. Many dentists are now checking a patient's overall health for signs of things like diabetes, heart issues and infections.
“We've seen some people by going a little bit over the year without having any dental care or some increase in their need of dental work,” said Dr. Michael Alsouss, owner of Broadview Dental Group in Parma.
But fear of COVID-19 isn't the only thing keeping them from the dentist.
Millions of people have simply lost healthcare coverage.
“It's not easy for what people are going through from finance, financial issues, medical issues. So if we can come together as number one, Americans and humans, that's going to make the world a better place,” said Alsouss.
It’s why Alsouss’ team is performing free fillings, extractions and cleanings for the public on Friday, May 7 for their sixth annual “Smiles from the Heart" event.
But they need help.
Their team is asking for donations including new toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, and bags to give to patients on a first-come-first-served basis.
“We will try to prioritize by importance and urgency, definitely, because we want to try to be able to serve as many people as we can,” said Dr. Alsouss. “We're hoping that we're going to grow to the point that we hopefully will hold it more just once a year…maybe to start once a quarter and then have it more often. If we can do it like once a month, that'd be great.”
The “Smiles from the Heart" event will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5500 Broadview Rd. You will need to bring a mask and social distance to receive care or donations.