Free dental care day planned to bring smiles to Algonquin area
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media October 11, 2013 11:16AM
Updated: November 17, 2013 6:08AM
ALGONQUIN — The more Timothy Stirneman learns about oral health, the more he’s convinced there is a link between it and an individual’s overall health.
That’s why the owner of All Smiles Dental in Algonquin is joining the worldwide nonprofit Dentistry From The Heart initiative to provide free dental care to area people in need. Stirneman is one of the few from Illinois and the only dentist participating from McHenry County, said Alex Wachman from MB and Associates PR.
He will open his entire dental practice, which includes 12-operative rooms, for free to all those in need of cleanings, fillings or dental extractions from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the office 1452 Merchant Drive.
“Your mouth is basically the entryway for all of the food going into your body,” Stirneman said. “If you’ve got disease in your mouth, you’re basically passing all this food you cook and eat through the disease and bringing that disease into your whole body. I’m a big proponent of doing everything we can to get as many people as disease-free as they can be in their mouth and do as much preventative stuff as we can.”
With the current economy, Stirneman doubts there will be a shortage of people to treat during the event.
“I think there’s a great need out there,” he said. “Over the last couple of years, more and more people are out of jobs and losing their insurance, and this seemed like one more way we could help. I’m really looking forward to this day.”
Wendy Fischer, Stirneman’s personal assistant, is also excited about the initiative.
“I think it’s a great way for us to reach out to the community,” she said. “It’s hard to get good dental care; and with the cost of insurance these days, this is a good opportunity to get dental care for free.”
Patients can attend and receive as many treatments as they need, no questions asked, although only one procedure will be done at a time.
“It will be on a first-come, first-served basis,” Fischer said. “But people can go through the lines as many times as they want.”
The dental practice also is trying to reach out to other community care clinics to provide follow-ups.
“There’s so many people we can reach out to and help, and hopefully we can do some preventative care,” Fischer said. “Hopefully, people who are in pain can have the pain relieved.”
Stirneman is no stranger to giving back to the community.
He was head of the Algonquin Project Playground almost 20 years ago to build Angel Towne Park.
“It was so rewarding to do something really great for the community,” he said. “We had 400 volunteers that day that helped.”
He is also a sponsor of the children’s games for Founders Days, and he and staff visit area schools to perform “The Wizard of Teeth” play, which addresses young children’s fear behind going to visit the dentist.
“When we found out nobody had really done the (Dentistry From The Heart initiative) in this area, we thought, ‘We need to do that,’ ” Stirneman said. “And the really neat thing is that in order to be able to afford to do this, everybody is volunteer — the dentists, the hygienists — it’s all on a volunteer basis. We have a company that’s letting us borrow instruments. And we’re working on getting things donated.”
More information about All Smiles Dental is at www.allsmilesdental.com/dentist-algonquin/.