Maple Family Dental Offers Free Clinic for Fargo’s Homeless Residents
they saw more than 15 patients
FARGO, ND — Maple Family Dental got out of the office and into a homeless shelter to help those who can’t always afford to get their teeth cleaned.
Dave Weatherly has never had his teeth cleaned at the dentist.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to get it done. I’m not much of a lover of dentists,” Weatherly said.
Now he’s getting them polished and four teeth pulled for free.
Maple Family Dental partnered with the New Life Center downtown to provide teeth cleanings, exams and x-rays to Fargo’s homeless residents at no cost.
Dr. Jonathan Bultema wanted to have the free clinic because he has done volunteer work overseas.
Although unsurprised by what he saw there, he says he didn’t expect to see so many people without access to care in the U.S.
“God has really allowed us to have some gifts and abilities, some talents that we have and we just really wanted to give back to people that needed it,” Bultema said.
“That’s pretty charitable and I’m thankful for that,” said patient Jacob Southworth.
The limited access to care is part of the reason Weatherly says he’s hoping something will change.
“I hope that President Trump will be able to help us lower income people with dental and health insurance,” Weatherly said.
Although going to the dentist can be costly, some say it’s worth it for healthy teeth.
“The roots have died to where they’re like a dead tree. It’s causing health problems in my systems to where I didn’t know that,” Weatherly said.
“You know you got to do it. It’s going to make your teeth last,” Southworth said.
Now they have some advice for their dentists.
“You can make it more numb,” Weatherly said.
The North Dakota Dental Foundation also helped out Maple Family Dental during their clinic by donating portable chairs and portable units.