Campus & Community

PBSC’s Free Dentistry Day tackles pent-up demand

Dr. Roy Blake (left) has volunteered at PBSC’s Free Dentistry Day since its inception in 2015. Click image to see more photos.

By 5:50 a.m., 35 people were in line, and by 6:50 a.m., all slots were taken at Palm Beach State College’s sixth annual Free Dentistry Day on April 17, its first since the pandemic. By 6 p.m., 10 volunteer dentists, aided by PBSC Dental Health students, had brought relief to 41 adults who otherwise could not afford treatment for their dental pain.

The no-cost treatment, provided at the Dental Assisting Clinic on the Lake Worth campus, was limited to fillings and extractions in order to give the most relief to the most people. Over the course of the day, the dentists performed 26 composite fillings and 25 extractions, aided by 19 Dental Assisting students who obtained each patient’s medical history, did dental x-rays and assisted the dentists chairside. In addition, three PBSC Dental Hygiene students took patients’ vital signs, and seven faculty and staff members assisted with patient care and kept things moving smoothly. Fifty-two patients had been fit into the schedule, but 11 were evaluated to need advanced care and were given a list of low- and no-cost clinics.

This was Dr. Camille Dixon’s (left) first Free Dentistry Day at PBSC. “I’m so happy that we got a lot of people out of pain,” she said.

Many of the dentists had volunteered at previous PBSC Free Dentistry Days, but some were new to the event, like Camille Dixon, DMD. “This was a very good project for the community, and I am so happy that we got a lot of people out of pain,” she said.

Roy C. Blake III, DDS, MSD, has volunteered at PBSC’s Free Dentistry Day since its first year in 2015. “Since the pandemic, there’s a lot of pent-up demand, and we’re trying to address that,” Blake said. “The local dentists come because they feel like they can give back. This is the dental community and the College coming together to help people. You know, you’ve got to give back.”

All the dentists are affiliated with the Atlantic Coast Dental Research Clinic, which provides continuing education for local dentists and reduced-fee dental services for the community. ACDRC has partnered with PBSC for almost six decades, using the College’s Dental Assisting clinic to provide treatment while at the same time providing PBSC Dental Assisting students with their required clinical experience.

Dental Assisting student Fabiola Millien loved the experience of Free Dentistry Day and hopes to become a dentist.

“We had a great turnout for this event, and everyone worked hard—the dentists, the students, and the faculty and staff. We’re lucky to have such a great team,” said Colleen Bradshaw, associate professor and chair of PBSC’s Dental Assisting program and event coordinator. “Beforehand the students were nervous about treating so many patients, but they really stepped up to the plate and performed like pros.”

Fabiola Millien is a dental assisting student, but a career as a dental assistant is not her final goal. She wants to go to dental school and be a public health dentist.

“I’m just really happy that I got to be part of this event’s first year since the pandemic,” Millien said. “Even though it’s been such a hectic day, I love it, I love it. And now that I’ve had this experience, I can put myself in other people’s shoes more.”

Lorenzo Sanchez heard about Free Dentistry Day from a friend who goes to Palm Beach State College. He drove down in the early morning from Port St. Lucie to get relief from a toothache.

“My friend gave me a flyer for it, and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m definitely coming for that,’” Sanchez said. “Dental clinics near where I live weren’t accepting new clients, so I don’t even know where I could have possibly gotten care if I hadn’t come here. This was definitely a help to me.”

View the photo album of PBSC’s Free Dentistry Day 2024.


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2 comments on “PBSC’s Free Dentistry Day tackles pent-up demand”

    1. Hi, Angel — Thank you for reaching out. Here’s the link to a webpage that lists the discounts currently offered to PBSC alumni; click on the “Discounts” box:
      And here is the Alumni homepage:

      I will also pass along your interest to our alumni office, to let them know that there are alumni out there interested in more discounts!

      I hope all is going well for you,
      Joyce at PBSC

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