Guntersville Dentist Offers Free Services For A Day

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A Guntersville dentist offered free services to the community on Friday with free cleanings, extractions, and fillings for people in need.

This is the third year for Dr. Chris Harper and his staff to treat people for free.

"I moved here three and a half years ago and this community's been wonderful to me.  Even though I'm not from Guntersville, I feel like I get treated like a local," said Dr. Harper.

"I think it's wonderful that there are dentists who go to other countries and do mission trips, but as you know, there's people here in our own back yard who need help just as much."

Instead of charging the patients, Dr. Harper and his staff asked everyone to bring food items for a local food bank.  The patients expressed their gratitude.

"I think it's great for the community, just helping out people that don't have dental insurance," said Lisa Wilson.  "It's just a way to give back to the community."

The office is normally closed on Friday, so the work was all voluntary.

"It's like a big party.  We treat the patients like they're the best patients in the world.  It's amazing.  The first two years we did this, we saw between 50 and 60 patients, this year we'll probably see even more," Dr. Harper said.

Registration for the free dental day started at 7 a.m. The staff drew names and assigned numbers to determine order.  By 10:30 a.m. all slots were filled for the rest of the day.

"I'll probably be walking around here like an old man by the end of the day, but it's going to be great.  These are my most rewarding days," Dr. Harper said.