|Dr. Rima Bazzi and her assistant care for a patient.|
According to Dr. Nader Bazzi, Dr. Rima Bazzi and Dr. Julie Atoui, the three dentists who operate Contemporary Dentistry's two locations, one of them located in Canton , this event in particular took about six months of preparation. It involved getting an approval from the city of Dearborn, putting up a tent in the parking lot of the facility, gathering co-sponsorships and finding volunteers.
"It was a lot of legwork but we wanted to reach out to the community and help out in any way we can," stated Dr. Rima Bazzi. "This is just a little something for people to know that we are here for them and give them a bit of hope. There are a lot of people in the community who don't have insurance and could use this as an opportunity," Dr. Rima Bazzi stated.
The event, which began at 9 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. that evening treated patients on a first come first serve basis. After patients had come and signed a consent form, they were also able to get their blood pressure and glucose levels detected by Marie Boomer, a licensed PA-C, who had been volunteering for the event. In total there were over 40 volunteers and staff members who were dedicating their time to making the event a success.
Locals turned out for the event for many different reasons. Some brought their kids, others even brought their parents. While more than half of them were there to receive a standard teeth cleaning, which dentists recommend patients should receive twice a year, many others had showed up because they felt that a trip to the dentist was simply long overdue.
"I work next door but I had to come here and get a cleaning. I am without insurance right now and this is the first time i have been to the dentist in a while," stated Monica Boomer.
Boomer was just one of many patients who had been going to the dentist for years but tougher economical restraints resulted in losing her insurance coverage, which also meant she wasn't able to visit the dentist in over a year.
"This was honestly such a blessing for me. The staff was great, very friendly and very helpful, I couldn't have asked for more," Boomer added.
Dr. Rima Bazzi pointed out that she was surprised at the poor oral conditions from many of the patients that had not been visiting the dentist in years. Broken teeth, infections and decay were just some of the more severe problems that many of the patients had been under.
Some had stated that they've been having problems for months but dental visits were out of the question because it was simply too costly without any insurance coverage.
"A cousin of mine called me and told me they were doing a free dental service here today. I have an infection on my tooth and don't have insurance to be regularly going to the dentist," stated Ali Abass.
Volunteers for the event included medical trainees and students sent from Everest Institute. Sponsorships from local businesses and national companies included East Village Pharmacy, Synergy, Dearborn Fresh, A & B Beverages, M & S Trading inc., Oral-B and Patterson Dental Supply who all donated items such as beverages, food or dental supplies for the event.
"People have been so grateful and so thankful that somebody actually cares by opening up their doors to the public. What's most important here is that we are offering quality work and trying to link overall health to oral health and to let people know how important that is," stated Rohnda Mohammad, the financial advisor of Contemporary Dentistry's Dearborn location.
Locals who were not able to make it out to the event last Friday do have one more opportunity to do so this year. Contemporary Dentistry will be holding another free service event on June 23rd at their Canton office located on North Sheldon Rd right off of Ford Rd. All patients must be three years of age or older and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian if under age.
Dr. Nader Bazzi says that he hopes the company can do even more of these types of events on a yearly basis.
"The reception has been tremendously positive. The patients have been very appreciative and people from all sorts of backgrounds have been coming here, we really hope that this can become an annual event for us. We would like to keep spreading the word and make it even bigger next time," stated Dr. Nader Bazzi.
For more information on the event taking place in Canton next month contact Nancy Bazzi at 734.455.0095.