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Friday, February 8, 2013 - 12:00am
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A Las Cruces dentist will be providing free dental work Friday to adults who need fillings or a teeth cleaning.
"We did 97 fillings and 121 cleanings in one day so that was over 200 hundred people," Gilbert said at his office.
From 7am to 4pm Gilbert and dozens of volunteers will be seeing patients at Bright Star Dental in hopes of helping those who might not be able to afford dental care otherwise.
"We have a number of people that we know are out of work or have family issues where financially it's pretty tight," Gilbert said.
Dentistry From the Heart first began over a decade ago when a Florida dentist devoted a full day to treating patients for free.
Since then the program has spread throughout the country and internationally to Canada and Europe.
"What's started in one place has kind of grown into a big thing," Gilbert said of the success of the program.
Participating dentists usually spend the first Friday of February treating patients for free.
The parking lot of Bright Star Dental has been transformed into a make shift waiting area for the hundreds of patients expected.
The program will function through the help of dozens of volunteers and Gilbert has brought on another dentist to help him with fillings and cleanings.
"We have people emptying trash, sterilizing instruments, setting up rooms and doing whatever they need to do to help," Gilbert said.
Gilbert experts about 75 volunteers ranging from patients, area dental students and even his own family.
He said they begin planning for the event in September by gathering dental supplies through donations.
Gilbert said it takes a lot of hard work but it's his way of giving back to the community.
"I love the people here," Gilbert said. "This is where I raised my family and my wife loves it here so we want to give back to Las Cruces because Las Cruces has given so much to us."
The program is on first come first serve basis.
Gilbert said he typically shows up at 5am to make sure everything is in order and there's already people lined up.
Dr. Bryan Gilbert
7 a.m.- 4 p.m. -Friday
Bright Star Dental
2010 E. Lohman
Shuttle service from Young Park will begin at 6am.