A dozen eager patients who lacked access to dental care filled the Plano-Preston Rd. Monarch Dental office on Saturday, August 18, 2012. Each brought with them a personal story of financial hardship coupled with critical dental issues they had not been able to address. Monarch Dental’s “Making a Difference Day” came to their aid, fulfilling the mission of Smile Brands Inc. and its affiliated dental groups of delivering Smiles for Everyone by providing free dental care to individuals most in need.

The local event served a diverse group of adults and children from across the Dallas-Fort Worth community. Internal referrals and partnerships with local non-profit organizations helped event organizers identify patients.

Several parents expressed immense gratitude for services they received, mentioning their current financial circumstances had left them no choice but to live with the pain. One patient, Kira Beaver, is a widow and unemployed single mother who found herself in the ICU last year for a brain infection. At the hospital she learned that the infection stemmed from infected teeth. Though her two children receive Medicaid, she had been unable to qualify for dental benefits from this government program. She saved for years for a previous partial, and burst into tears when she discovered she would receive the dental treatment she needed at Monarch Dental’s Making a Difference event. “This day has changed my life,” Beaver said.

Three dentists and 12 dental care professionals from three local Monarch Dental offices provided a variety of services at no cost, from exams, x-rays and cleanings to urgent crowns, extractions and partials. Two participants – Dr. Randy Richardson and Plano-Preston Rd. office manager Kimberly Chiu -also served on the Seal Team Two trip to Thailand in May. “I believe that experience prepared us mentally and physically to coordinate an event like this,” Chiu says. “It made my heart sing. The patients of all ages were truly deserving of the services that were rendered.” A local lab donated to the event as well, enabling the team, as Chiu says, “to go above and beyond standard triage services. We really improved their smiles.”