Studies have shown that the health of your mouth and heart are connected, which only makes it all the more fitting that Dr. Wilfred Miyasaki is offering free dental care this Valentine’s Day weekend through his “Dentists With A Heart” program.
“This is the seventh year I am doing this,” says the local dentist, who has been practicing in Honolulu for more than 25 years. “It is satisfying to provide this free care.”
Miyasaki explains that the concept for this program began nine years ago when he was looking for ways to give back to his community. At first he looked into doing something with Aloha Medical Mission, where volunteers go into foreign countries and provide free medical/dental care to the residents. But because of time and travel commitments involved with such overseas’ operation, Miyasaki wasn’t sure his entire staff could get involved.
Then he heard of a dentist from the Midwest who gave free appointments to folks on Thanksgiving Day.
“I felt this was a good idea: I could volunteer my services to people right here in Hawaii instead of another country,” he says.
Miyasaki will be joined by Drs. Randall Motooka and Amy Seibel this Saturday to offer oral cleanings, X-rays, fillings, extractions, diagnoses and consultations to those in need. Services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 a.m. at A Downtown Dental Group (1139 Bethel St., across from Hawaii Theatre). Patients must be at least 12 years of age and accompanied by a parent/legal guardian if under 18. No advance appointments will be taken.
“Most of the people who come are people who have had some unfortunate occurrence in their lives - they may have lost their job, gotten ill or may be going through a divorce. Most have had some kind of financial setback and just happen to have a dental need or problem too. And that’s where we can help them,” Miyasaki says.
The Waipahu High grad also is involved with various other charitable events throughout the year, including Smiles For Life, Give Back A Smile, Halloween Candy Buyback and drives for Hawaii Foodbank.
“I feel that it is important to give back to the community,” Miyasaki says, also acknowledging the continued support of his staff: assistants Darlyne Do, Julia Liu, Meg Nishimura, Maylani Aldeguer; hygienists Verna Nonaka and Janet Mariano; and most importantly his wife Gwen, who helps get the word out for “Dentists With A Heart” every year.
“My entire staff gets involved with this program every year. I could never do this without them,” he says. “We put our heart into our work. It’s just nice to be able to help these people.”
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