Boynton Beach - Andrew Brennen is at the dentist for a root canal. It's a procedure he has not been able to afford since last year, when he lost his insurance coverage.
But thanks to Caridad Center in Boynton, Beach, Brennen is getting the dental help he needs, at no cost to him.
"I am truly very very thankful," Brennen said.
Carmen Nieves, the center's clinic director, says they offer free medical, vision and dental services.
"What we are trying to do is actually address two of the chronic diseases most prevalent in the uninsured which is diabetes and cardiovascular disease," she said.
Nieves said that some chronic illnesses are discovered when the patient comes in for a dental check-up.
"For example if you are a diabetic, you could develop periodontal disease and lose your teeth even if you don't have any cavities. But everything does start in the mouth. If you have an infection in your mouth, it can travel through your body," Nieves said.
The care provided to Brennen and thousands of other patients is possible because of doctors in Palm Beach County who volunteer their time.
Executive Director Laura Kallus , executive director, said, "We have over 400 professionals who volunteer with us. And just this year we have two new doctors, we have nine new dentists, we even have an acupuncturists."
One of the volunteer dentist is Brandon Alegre.
"It's very rewarding; during dental school I did a couple of mission trips. And I feel like this is something we should be doing as dentist, a lot of general dentists do that. Just giving back to the community," Alegre said.
The Caridad Center is helping more than 10,000 people get the care they need.
8645 Boynton Beach Boulevard