On Saturday, October 15, 2016, volunteers for the fourth Dentistry from the Heart event served 134 people who
were in need of dental care. Residents from Columbia and the surrounding areas came to Irmo Smiles in Irmo, South
Carolina to take advantage of a free cleaning, extraction or filling. Always regarded as the most rewarding day
of the year, volunteers enjoyed helping those who couldn’t otherwise get the treatment they needed.
Dr. Jim Raman and Dr. Misti Raman of Irmo Smiles hosted the first Dentistry from the Heart in Columbia in 2012. They have since hosted three more events and plan to continue each year in the future. Dr. Sarah Rush, Dr. Katherine Renne, Dr. Mark McEntire, Dr. Charles Miyaji, and Dr. Wally Renne donated their services for the 2016 event.
Irmo Smiles welcomed adults, 18 and older, who needed dental care. Patients waited at Irmo Smiles starting at 11:00 pm on the evening of October 14 to secure a spot in line. At 7:30 am, approximately 100 people had gathered to wait for their turn to be treated. The doors opened at 7:30 and patients moved through the process of triage and evaluation to placement with an appropriate doctor or hygienist. Those still waiting at lunch time were served a hot dog lunch. By 5:00, all patients had moved indoors and were ready to be treated. The last patient’s care was completed by 7:00 pm. Many patients left giving hugs to volunteers and giving thanks. Volunteers were left with the joy of helping others in need.
“Each year, certain patients make an impression on us. For some very special cases, we are able to follow up with additional care in the hopes of improving their quality of life. Mostly, we just feel blessed to be able to help people in our community using our God given talents,” says Dr. Jim Raman.
Dentistry From The Heart (DFTH), based in New Port Richey, Florida, is a worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free dental care to those in need. Every year, thousands of individual dentists, hygienists, volunteers, and hundreds of practices across the world donate their time and resources to host their own DFTH events.
Dentistry From The Heart was founded by Dr. Vincent J. Monticciolo 14 years ago. Since then, the profession of dentistry has reached out and shown the world the giving spirit of the dental care industry. Over 300 events per year helping thousands of patients and giving millions in free dentistry.
Special thanks to the local sponsors of the 2016 event included Long’s Drugs, B106, Thompson’s Rental Services, Patterson Dental Supply, Columbiana Grande, Benco Dental, 4 Imprint, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chic Fil’A, Jersey Mikes, Zorbas, Dunkin Donuts, Firehouse Subs, Marco’s Pizza, Hungry Howies Pizza, and Zoe’s.