By Sydney Bland
Glenpool Chamber of Commerce
Sixty hopeful people of all ages ignored the chilling rain and stood in line outside the dentist’s office early Saturday morning to take advantage of a free dental day in Glenpool . . . and more than $30,000 worth of procedures later, they went on about their day “shored up” for another year.
Dentists and staff of Complete Cosmetic Care Dentistry hosted their sixth annual free dental day recently and had sore feet at the end of the day to prove it.
“When you have a toothache, you can’t get there soon enough,” said one patient. “And when it’s free care, that’s all the more reason to beat the crowds.”
Drs. Parnam Mohanna and Dalia Georgy care for adults, children and teens. They pull, clean and fill teeth once a year on those who probably haven’t stepped foot in a dentist’s office for quite some time – if ever.
This event allows people to come in and get their teeth cleaned, filled or extracted even if they have no insurance coverage, according to Dr. Mohanna.
“This may be the only chance some of the patients are able to get dental work done for the year,” said Dr. Mohanna, co-owner of Complete Cosmetic Care Dentistry.
This makes the sixth year for the dental clinic to offer this opportunity. It is always held on the second Saturday in October.
Most of the day’s patients were adults with a handful of kids and teens added to the mix.
“How many people do you know who joyfully wake up cheering and telling everyone around them: Yay! I’m going to work to lose lots of money today?” said Dr. Mohanna. “Well, I can tell you about three dentists, three hygienists and 25 volunteers woke up on Saturday, Oct. 13th, 2018 – some even drove as far as from Oklahoma City – to come to CCCD, and lose a hell of a lot of money, and in return to receive the utmost gratification for helping some less fortunate to receive dental treatment that they may NEVER receive if it were not for them.”
Dr. Mohanna said that it is experiences like these that make one realize that money does not make you happy.
“People always ask me why we do our free dental days,” said Dr. Mohanna. “My answer to them is this: Why are we born? Why are we put upon this earth? What is our purpose?”
Dr. Mohanna says he simply doesn’t know the answers to these questions, but that it should be our human nature to help and be part of a solution instead of the problem.
One patient stood in line for hours in the pouring rain to have a tooth extracted.
She was first checked out by the hygienist who then told Dr. Mohanna how much pain the lady was in due to multiple dental issues.
The hygienist wanted Dr. Mohanna to determine which tooth to prepare for extraction because so many needed attention.
After reviewing the case and talking to the patient, Dr. Mohanna went into what he calls “full-blown surgical mode,” and removed all the affected teeth, repaired her jaw bone and prepared the patient for being fitted for new teeth.
Staffers couldn’t believe she wasn’t already in the hospital due to so much infection, they said.
“Although, she just went through a full-blown surgery, she was smiling and thanking every single volunteer and staffer who gave her a chance to this new life without pain and suffering,” said Dr. Mohanna. “So why do we do this? I’ll let you answer that one yourself.”
Office staff and volunteers get as much out of the event as patients, but in a different way.
“It was such a neat experience. It made me so happy to be able to serve all those people in need,” said office staffer Sarah Loftin. “It was great to be involved with helping so many people in the community.
In many ways, the event was more like a party than a trip to the dentist.
The atmosphere at the event was terrific, according to staffers. The clinic provided a large breakfast for staffers and volunteers while Blues Hall of Famer David Skinner entertained patients with his guitar as patients ate Krispy Kreme donuts and drank coffee. The atmosphere was jovial and light.
“The organization of the entire event was amazing,” said Loftin. “We were able to get most of the patients inside before the big rain.”
She said that when staff arrived at about 6:45 a.m., there were already 15 or so people lined up at the door. She heard that the first patient arrived at about 4 a.m.
Staff and dentists left for the day at 4 p.m.
“Being able to change people’s lives in such a way made us tear up,” Loftin said. “Just being here was wonderful . . . very touching.”
Community-minded businesses such as Complete Cosmetic Care Dentistry are integral in making their communities grow and thrive.
“I just hope all my colleagues pick a special day in a year and offer the same thing as we do to their community and join in this effort to be part of the solution than problem,” Dr. Mohanna said. “Just as we provided over $31,000 services to over 60 patients in just seven hours out of the entire year.”
Dr. Mohanna offered his special thanks to all his amazing volunteers, Glenpool Chamber of Commerce, Henry Schein Dental, Kerr Dental and the entire team at CCCD for bringing some joy to our community.
Dr. Mohanna said he wishes his patients and the rest of the world would be able to afford regular check-ups, surgeries and health needs through a good healthcare system. So he’s doing his small part just to move toward that vision.
“If you don’t have health, what else do you have?” Dr. Mohanna said.