By Jean Seegers


ROCKTON – Dental care is expensive these days, especially if you don’t have dental insurance.  Dr. Kenneth O’Brien, owner of Rockton Dental Care, and hundreds of dental professionals around the world have been providing care for people in need through “Dentistry from the Heart,” a world-wide not for profit organization that provides  free dental care to those in need during a one day event.

O’Brien said it is a day set aside to give back to the community.

On Friday, July 24, people began lining up in the wee hours of the morning in front of Rockton Dental at 213 W. Main St. in Rockton.  Registration began at 8:30 a.m.

“By 9 am, 36 patients had been seen,” Office Manager Kit Cline said. “In the last three years, 465 patients were cared for and $150,000 in dental care was provided.”

Patients were seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Brenda Kothe arrived at 3:45 a.m., with her lawn chair in tow. After having a cavity filled, Kothe returned to the back of the line and waited several hours to have a second cavity filled.

Dr. O’Brien, Dr. Mohit Joshi, Dr. Heather Shick and oral surgeon Dr. Kurt Jensen, and staff members, dental hygienists, assistants and many volunteers have been involved with Dentistry from the Heart at Rockton Dental Care since 2012.

Cline said the clinic expected to serve about 150 patients that day.

Once inside the clinic, each patient was registered and interviewed.  Oral cancer screening and X-rays were completed before proceeding. Patients had the option of having a cavity filled, an extraction, or a cleaning.

Kothe said she doesn’t have dental insurance, so the free dental care meant she could have some much-needed work done.



Jean Seegers photo

Kit Cline, Office Manager at Rockton Dental Care in Rockton, coordinated the Dentistry from the Heart free dental care event, Friday, July 24. This is the fourth year Dr. Kenneth O’Brien has provided services to patients who have no insurance or can’t get dental care elsewhere. Dr. Joshi, Dr.Shick, Oral Surgeon Dr. Jensen, numerous dental hygienists, staff members and volunteers gave of their time and expertise. Pictured with Cline is volunteer Jim Griffen.

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