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Jacksonville Man With Infection and Broken Crowns Gets Free Help

5:13 PM, Aug 23, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One man was in such pain he would crumple to the floor and cry like a little kid.

But his wife heard about the New First Coast News project, Hero Dentists, and decided to submit her husband's name for free dental help. They did not want to use their full names.

Through the program, volunteer dentists try to help in critical cases as best they can. Dr. Geoff Banga in Ponte Vedra is one volunteer and offered to take the Jacksonville man as a patient at no cost.

His business cleaning chimneys had taken a huge hit in this economy.  He said he lost his house and couldn't afford insurance or a big bill from a dentist.

The patient needed a tooth pulled and crowns replaced, said Banga.  The Ponte Vedra dentist explained that infections like his can lead to serious health threats, even trouble breathing and swallowing.

The man was grateful for the help. In desperation, he had tried to pull out his own tooth with pliers, but that didn't work and he said he was also gluing his crowns back into his mouth, but that would only last a couple weeks at a time.

Banga said he is a hometown guy who's come home now to help the community after graduating from Stanton and University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and then he went to dental school out of state.

He plans to help other patients submitted to him by the Hero Dentist medical committee.

If you need a Hero Dentists, first, please understand the requests are far more than the volunteer dentists can handle.

But you are welcome to submit your name. Just go to and click on Hero Central.  Put your name under "Need a Hero."

First Coast News

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