LONG CREEK - Northern Grant County residents got some help with their smiles in June when two Medical Teams International dental vans paid a four-day visit.
During the visit, set up at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, over 80 patients, from Long Creek, Monument, Dale, Dayville and Spray, received everything from basic cleaning to fillings and extractions. Many were also treated for gum disease, root canals and denture problems.
Donations were accepted, in whatever amount patients could afford.
Portland-area dentists Dr. Julia Robirds, Dr. Paul Brent and Dr. Keith Valachi volunteered their services along with dental hygienist Virginia Olea.
Debbis Stumbaugh from Bend and Keith Canwell from Walla Walla, Wash., assisted. Oregon Health Science University dental students Tyler Bendixsen, Stevenson Smith, Wille Fugere and Jonathon Coutin also volunteered.
Monument registered nurse Pearl Spencer coordinated the event. Eric Sines of Long Creek and Kai Hanner of Pendleton also helped out.
This is the fifth year the MTI vans have come to Long Creek, at the request of Valachi, who owns property outside town.
"I had volunteered with them for years. Then we got the cabin here and I really wanted to help folks in this area," he said. "I told my colleagues about the need here and they wanted to help too."
MTI has a fleet of 11 vans that operate throughout the Pacific Northwest. The group partners with nonprofits, schools and churches to provide dental care to those who can't otherwise afford it.