OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Some Oklahoma City residents got an early Christmas gift Friday morning, but it’s not what you’d think.
We’re not talking about anything you’d find under the tree either.
We’re talking about free dental care.
It’s definitely not an ordinary Christmas present, but it’s one that Lincoln Shannon will tell you is needed.
“I’m coming to get my back wisdom teeth pulled,” Shannon, a patient who took part in the event, said. “Every time I talk and I drink water and stuff, it hurts.”
Comfort Dental has a few offices in the Oklahoma City metro, including this one near N.W. 63rd Street and May Avenue.
All of them, including 130 other offices in 10 different states, offered the free dental services Friday morning.
“I really enjoy it every year,” said Audra Tull, a dental assistant at Comfort Dental.
“We love it,” said Dr. David Gray, a dentist at Comfort Dental. “The staff look forward to it. It’s usually a really fun day and it’s just a great feeling, especially at Christmas time.”
Gray said they have done what is called “Care Day” every year since 1984.
They complete dental work like fillings, cleanings, and extractions all at no cost to the patient.
People just have to fill out some forms citing medical history and consent. Since it started, the business has provided $25 million in free dental work.
In 2021 alone, they served more than 2,000 patients and donated $1.4 million in services across the country.
“One of the reasons why we do it is to make sure that people that don’t have access to care have a chance to get some things done,” Gray said.
This gives people like Shannon a chance to nip the aches and pains in the bud just before Christmas time comes around.
“Oh man, it’s a blessing,” Shannon said. “He said he’s going to be able to do all three of them and that’s good because they all need it.”
The services are provided every year on Dec. 23.
This year, the services were provided from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
They can’t do things like crowns and root canals or anything that requires lab work.
Gray said COVID-19 and the weather has slowed business down a bit on Care Day, but they still get several patients.