Anyone who does not have dental insurance or medical assistance is invited to participate in a free dental care day in February.

Members of the York County Dental Society will be participating in the 27th annual Doctors With a Heart program and offering free examinations, cleanings, X-rays, fillings or pain treatment on specified days in February.

Interested individuals must call one of the 15 participating offices to make an appointment.

How it started: Dentists in York began participating in Doctors With a Heart when Dr. John Blevins heard of the program and initiated it here.

Blevins began dental care day at his office at 286 N. Main St. in New Salem in 1986, after he had been practicing dentistry for 10 years.

Almost 15 years ago, the York County Dental Society officially joined in with Doctors With a Heart, said Blevins.

Every office picks a day near Valentine's Day to offer free services, he said.

To date, Blevins estimates that more than 3,300 people have been served through the annual program.

How it works: In the fall they send letters inviting area dentists to participate, and in January letters go out to schools and community organizations notifying them about the dental care days in February.

"People are very appreciative," Blevins said.

"I choose to do general dentistry, but February is National Children's Dental Health month, so some people just do kids," he said.


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If a patient has several dental problems, the dentist tries to address the most urgent ones, Blevins said.

The day is not a way to acquire new patients, but to simply give back to the community, he said.

"My staff members donate their time, and we donate the materials," said Blevins.

Each office can choose what limitations to put on their services, said Dr. Edward Roth, whose dental office in Dallastown was one of the first to become involved with Doctors With a Heart in York.

"It is a nice giveback to the community," Roth said. "Most of the time the people we see are very deserving and that's certainly a highlight of it. It is rare that someone takes advantage of it that should not be in the program."

"We do not turn anybody away if they meet those minimum qualifications," said Roth.

People are welcome to start setting appointments at participating locations on Friday.

-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com

Doctors With a Heart program

The following are the days free dental service will be available through the Doctors With a Heart program. Appointment registration at participating locations begins Friday.

FRIDAY, FEB. 1

---David Dellinger, 1421 W. Market St., York, noon to 4 p.m. for adults and children. Call 845-5789.

THURSDAY, FEB. 7

---Daniel Shalkey, 1600 Sixth Ave. #109, York, 7 a.m. to noon. Call 852-7475.

---DePasquale Dental, 3218 East Market St., York, noon to 3 p.m. for children. Call 755-3061.

FRIDAY, FEB. 8

---Edward Roth and Timothy Roenigk, 745 S Pleasant Ave., Dallastown, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for children and teens. Call 244-4094.

---Belmont Dental, 3210 E. Market St., York, 8 a.m. to noon for adults and children. Call 848-1463.

---Tri-Hill Family Dentistry, 1601 S. Queen St., 8:30 a.m. to noon for children. Call 854-9821.

---Veasey Cullen, 2300 Eastern Boulevard, York, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for adults. Call 755-1200.

SATURDAY, FEB. 9

---John Blevins, 286 N. Main St., York New Salem, 8 a.m. to noon for adults and children. Call 792-0484.

MONDAY, FEB. 11

---Nancy O'Neill, 180 Fairview Court, New Freedom, 8:30 a.m. until finished for children. Call 235-0559.

THURSDAY, FEB. 14

---Joseph Graver, 564 Old York Road, Etters, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for children. Call 938-1811.

---Steven Haywood Dental Care, 4 S. Main St., Shrewsbury, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for cosmetic dentistry for women. Call 235-3871.

FRIDAY, FEB. 15

---1447 Dental Associates, 1447 E Market St., York, 1:30 to 4 p.m. for children. Call 845-2771.

---Aesthetic Dental Arts, 2340 Eastern Boulevard, York, 8 a.m. to noon for adults. Call 755-4143.