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Anchorage dentist donates emergency dental care

Anchorage, Alaska—An Anchorage dentist opened his office doors Feb. 11 to provide free emergency dental care to patients in need.

Image: Dr. Terry Preece treats a patient
At work: Dr. Terry Preece treats a patient Feb. 11 during the Anchorage Healthy Smile Center Free Dental Emergency Day.

Dr. Terry J. Preece and his staff at the Anchorage Health Smile Center saw 24 patients between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and donated nearly $10,000 in free dental care to those with a dental emergency who could not otherwise afford care.

"After working 14-1/2 hours, we were exhausted but ecstatic that we had been able to help so many people," said Dr. Preece. "During these hard economic times, the spirit of giving and helping is needed more than ever. I'm grateful that I have been a part of such an incredible profession for more than 30 years and could provide this service."

Dr. Preece and the dental team provided exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions and palliative emergency care. Dr. Preece's wife Debbie, president of the Alliance of the American Dental Association, operated the front desk, registering all the patients who were treated. Local radio and television stations assisted by spreading the word in the community about the free clinic.

This event was the fourth Free Dental Emergency Day Dr. Preece has sponsored, but as a new Anchorage resident, this is the first observance in the City of Lights and Flowers.