VANCOUVER, Wash. — This weekend a Vancouver family dentistry is offering up their services for free to fill the gap in care in their community.
Gillespie Dentistry’s annual Smiles On Us event is happening this Saturday, April 23, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We are a big family practice. We’ve been here for 40 years,” Dr. Greg Gillespie said. “My dad and my uncle started the practice and now we’re into the second generation.”
Good dental care is all in the family at Gillespie Dentistry, located at Southeast McGillivray Boulevard and 132nd Avenue.
Dr. Greg Gillespie runs the practice with his brother Dr. Brad Gillespie and their cousin Dr. Dennis Gillespie.
“My brother and my cousin and myself all specialize in different things,” Dr. Brad Gillespie said. “My brother is in cosmetics, my cousin does sleep apnea and orthodontics and I do a lot of the surgeries.”
“The atmosphere that we get to build with each other and being able to own and be a dentist here in the practice,” Dr. Dennis said, "we just feel super blessed to be able to have the impact that we want to have with the community and with the team that we work with.”
On Saturday, April 23 they’re opening their doors to the community to offer free dental care on a first come, first serve basis.
“A modified cleaning, as well as, we can do some fillings and extractions,” Dr. Brad said. “We’re able to address the most pressing needs people have.”
“We recognize that there are a lot of people who don’t have access to care; no dental insurance, they’re in pain, nowhere to turn,” Dr. Greg said.
More people are unable to afford dental care than any other type of health care. A CareQuest Institute for Oral Health survey found more than 6 million Americans have lost oral health coverage because of the pandemic.
Cost is a barrier for many families. Eighty percent of Americans delay dental care – knowing it will cost them more in the long term, according to an Aspen Dental survey.
“We just knew that access to care was an issue in the community and there are some people who just can’t afford dental treatment, and if left untreated it causes real problems in their lives,” Brad said.
Smiles On Us relies on volunteers who donate their time and other dental practices who join in to help.
“I’m just super grateful to all the helpers that come in and help us during that day,” Dennis said.
Neglecting cavities and toothaches now often leads to an even bigger problem — and expense — in the future.
“We want to be uplifting. We want others to feel uplifted whenever they’re around us and this opportunity is really the core of who we are," Dr. Greg said.
For more information visit, gillespiedentistry.com or call them at 360-667-1749.