Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville dentist offers free end to pain, discomfort

BROOKSVILLE — They began lining up at least two hours before sunup Saturday.

Folks, many of whom hadn't seen a dentist in years, and suffering with toothaches, abscesses and worse, waited patiently while Dr. Douglas Roth, his staff and a host of volunteers began preparing for the busy day ahead.

For the next 10 hours, Roth, owner of Denture Care Center on Powell Road, and another dentist saw more than 120 patients free of charge. For people like Bruce Wilkey, whose abscessed molar had been hurting for weeks, it was a godsend.

"Normally, I would have done something about it by now," said Wilkey, 28, who works as a restaurant cook. "But it's tough coming up with the money these days. I'm just glad these folks are doing this. It's helping a lot of people out."

Sandy Roth, Dr. Roth's wife, said the idea behind "A Day of Free Dentistry" belongs to her husband, who she said was inspired last year by a TV program about free clinics in South America. Last year's effort served 55 clients over a 10-hour period, she said.

"With the economy the way it, is we felt there's a real need to offer this to people that don't have the means to get dental care," she said. "My husband is one of those people who can't stand to see somebody suffer needlessly."

Mrs. Roth said Saturday's mission revolved primarily around providing urgent care for people with severe pain and discomfort.

"Our hope is to get them to a point where they're at least comfortable and no longer in pain," she said. "The toughest thing about it is knowing that we'll probably turn away almost as many as we've taken in."

Brooksville resident Richard Smith, an unemployed construction worker who hadn't seen a dentist in eight years, said he arrived at the practice Friday night to put his name on the waiting list. Several of his bottom teeth had decayed to a point where he doubted they were salvageable.

"They're pretty bad," said Smith. "Right now, I just want the ones that hurt to be gone."

Like last year, Roth's nine-person staff volunteered their day off to take part in the effort. Additional help came from Brooksville dentist Ram Setlur, as well as two additional dental assistants from other area practices.

The Florida Veterans Mobile Service Center bus, equipped with dental X-ray equipment, served as a triage and consultation area for patients. Afterward, patients were sent inside for treatment by the dentists.

Staff member Debbie Skinnard said those who received treatment were gracious.

"For a lot of them, going to a dentist is a huge luxury," she said. "And it makes you feel good to know that you're able to give someone something that they truly need."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

Brooksville dentist offers free end to pain, discomfort 10/04/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 5, 2009 6:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

    National

    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”