TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Imagine the stress of being homeless, then add to that tooth pain with no way to afford the costs to get rid of it.
That's what some at Tallahassee's Kearney Center were dealing with until a local endodontist stepped in to help.
Going to the dentist for a root canal isn't something that most people look forward to. But this time, it's something to be thankful for. Tracy Flannery is homeless and says if it wasn't for the free dental service she'd probably lose her teeth.
"I'd probably be losing that tooth eventually, which some of them have already been coming out anyway," said Flannery. "I just bit into an apple one day and my front tooth just came out because my teeth just aren't good."
She is just one of the clients from the Kearney Center, an emergency homeless shelter, who is getting a free root canal from Dr. Briano Allen at Red Hills Endodontics.
This is the first time Dr. Allen has teamed up with the Kearney Center. The center's dental clinic can't provide root canals, so Dr. Allen's help was desperately needed.
"When you need a root canal, your day has come for services, so we are grateful," said Audra Peoples, Director of Communications at CESC.
Grateful, like Friday's patients, who will soon be pain free, at least when it comes to their teeth, thanks to Dr. Allen's generosity.
"I enjoy what I do because I am able to help people reduce their anxiety and the same thing here with these patients," said Dr. Allen. "A lot of anxiety but when they are done, they are happy and smiling and say it's a piece of cake. So it's great."
Dr. Allen saw about eight patients Friday and some were in a lot of pain. He says he just wants to make sure they all get the highest quality care possible.
Root canals for paying patients at Dr. Allen's practice normally cost between $900 to $1,500.