Several local dentists volunteered their services Feb. 15 to bring smiles to Knox Clinic dental patients in honor of Valentine’s Day. Thanks to their efforts, patients experienced relief from infection and pain. A new smile can also cosmetically enhance a person's job opportunities and build self-confidence, creating the potential for greater self-sufficiency.

The Knox Clinic serves the uninsured and underinsured whose income is 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines or less. Its dental patients are typically between 2 and 60 years old. Some of the clinic's dental patients are on MaineCare, especially the children it serves, as there are few dentists who accept MaineCare locally. The vast majority of the clinic's patients work; however, they do not receive dental insurance through their employer, and they can’t afford to purchase insurance privately.

Participating dentists in Dentists with a Heart include Dr. William Barbour, Dr. Amy Campbell, Dr. Michael Hersom, Dr. Ben Lacy from Glen Cove Dental Associates, Dr. David Pier from Mount Pleasant Dental Care, Dr. Lawrence Singer and Dr. David Theriault. Their offices cared for patients in severe need of dental care who had no other access to affordable treatment, and in many cases their entire staff volunteered to make it happen. Together they donated more than $14,000 worth of dental care to local residents.

Local cupcake and party supply store Laugh Loud Smile Big donated two dozen cupcakes to help the clinic say thank you to the volunteer dental offices.

For more information about the Knox Clinic, call 921-6996, or visit online knoxclinic.org.