100 get free extractions from dentist who wants to remember her roots

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A dentist gave back to her community Saturday, providing free tooth extractions to 100 people.

Dr. Christina Monford, with the Arlington River Family Dental off University Boulevard, said people started lining up about midnight and by 7 a.m., all 100 vouchers were given out.

"That just goes to show you there are people in need and we are very excited they are here," Monford said.

Dental surgeons from as far away as Atlanta flew in to be apart of this day of giving. Monford said she does this so she never forgets where she came from.

"I come from very humble beginnings and I know what it was like when I was a kid and I grew up in a less fortunate area," Monford said. "I knew what it felt like to know there were programs that offered to give back and support the less fortunate."

Extractions can be costly surgeries and according the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 108 million Americans are living without dental insurance.

"There are people that walk around with lots of pain, swelling, infection," Monford said. 

Monford hopes to do this event again next year and potentially add cleaning services, too.

There is increasing evidence that links oral health to overall health and well-being. The signs and symptoms of more than 100 medical conditions, including diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and oral cancer, may first be detected through traditional oral examinations.

“Dental health is a vital part of a person’s overall health,” Monford said. “Through this event, we hope to educate patients on the importance of dental health and encourage them to adopt an ongoing oral care regimen.”

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