On the inside, the offices of Camp Hill Dentists on Trindle Road had the look and sound of a typical dentist office.
But in the parking lot behind the building, there were tents and patients waiting patiently.
They were registering for Free Dentistry Day, seeking cleanings, fillings and extractions on a first come, first serve basis. Many arrived hours before the scheduled 8:00 am start. Most were without or in-between dental insurance coverage.
For ten straight hours, five dentists, four hygienists and ten staff volunteers kept chairs filled, and cavities too. You might call it dental philanthropy, thanks to the practices of Camp Hill Dentists and Mechanicsburg Family Dentistry.
Between patients, event organizer ,Dr. Brice Arndt, summed up their mission. "We've helped them either get out of pain, improve their smile and go ahead and raise some money for Fredricksen Library, for their fund." said Arndt. At the end of the day, 116 people had received more than 21-thousand dollars worth of free dental services. And, thanks to some area business sponsorships, a portion of that tally will help fill a "budget cavity" at Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill.
"We serve six municipalities, so we try to be the center of that and that takes a lot of money," said library director, Bonnie Goble. "So, we're going to use this to try to replace some of the state funding that gradually has been whittled away."
But, for some being helped, it was still a day of mixed emotions. Tammy Edmundson called herself a nervous nellie when it comes to sitting in the dentist's chair.
"When I thought about it," Edmundson said with a laugh, "I thought, oh my God, I was much more happier going through labor and delivery, than I am to the dentist."
Yes, Tammy survived the ordeal and is enjoying her newly repaired tooth.
Those involved in the event look forward to doing the same again next year.