German Village Gazette

Local teeth part of 'spring cleaning' effort

Office's dentists will offer free fillings, cleaning and extractions April 11


As part of a national program, Fixari Family Dental will offer free services from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 11 at 4241 Kimberly Parkway.

Mark and Shane Fixari, who own the dental practice on the Far East Side, will lead a team of 18 dentists, eight hygienists and 20 dental assistants as part of Dentistry From The Heart.

It will be the third year Fixari has participated in the event, held throughout the year at various locations throughout the world.

Mark Fixari said the response has been overwhelming -- and satisfying.

"The folks seem so grateful and our team has such a great time doing it," Fixari said, "so I don't see us stopping anytime soon.

"Our biggest challenge is getting the word out to the community," he said.

"As the word continues to grow, I think the event will as well."

Registration is necessary in the morning.

Dentists will offer three services: cleaning, filling and extraction.

Laurie Walleke, team leader at Fixari, said participants are asked to dress appropriately and bring chairs, blankets, food and beverages, because they might be waiting outside.

She said 200 people were treated during last year's event.

"We like to think of it as a community event and a way for us to give back to the community," she said.

Dentistry From The Heart, founded by Dr. Vincent J. Monticciolo in 2001, is a worldwide nonprofit organization that provides free dental care to those in need.

It is estimated to have helped 80,000 people since its founding.

There are at least three other Dentistry From The Heart events scheduled later this year in central Ohio: May 19 at Merion Village Dental; July 18 at Community Dental; and Aug. 22 at Wing, Mack and Smith.

There are 100,000 million Americans without dental insurance, making simple visits to the dentist cost-prohibitive, said Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for Columbus Public Health.

"Dental care is one of the most unmet needs of the community, so having an opportunity to receive free quality dental care is a great opportunity for residents," Rodriguez said.

CPH and Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers run a low-cost dental clinic at the health agency's downtown office, 240 Parsons Ave.

"It's very difficult to find those services that are low-cost or free," Rodriguez said.