Smith Dental Care has been offering free teeth cleaning, extractions and fillings for the past 14 years. There are times when people such as Ricky Francis could benefit from something that's usually a hit to his wallet. Francis said he paid $400 to get a tooth extracted.
"Money doesn't grow on trees," Francis said. "It's easy when you have the money, but it's really hard when you don't have the money to pay for something like that."
Doctor Lynette Ogletree said she understands that for some, 'free dental day' is one of the only opportunities that are available for free dental work in East Texas.
"A lot of people have medical conditions that affect their mouth," Dr. Ogletree said.
Dr. Roy Smith, who started 'free dental day' in Tyler, said his office sees a typical demand for cleanings and fillings. Coupled together, both can add up to $1,400 or more. However, Dr. Smith said there's a way to take care of your teeth without breaking the bank. He suggested visiting Tyler Junior College's hygiene program. College students would work on a patient while under the supervision of their instructors.
"It's at a reduced price but the quality is wonderful, it just might take a little longer," Smith said.
The Tyler Junior College will offer free dental services on February 24. TJC said it'll be a first-come-first-serve basis.