Nearly 80 people who cannot afford dental lined up outside the door of Dr. John Schoeb’s Crozet Blue Ridge Dental office on Jarmans Gap Road at 5:30 a.m. May 17 for free dental care offered by Dr. Schoeb and Dr. Carlos Ibanez, whose Charlottesville Oral Surgery office is in Old Trail.
“I showed up at 7:30 and the lot was full,” said Schoeb. “As soon as they saw us, they got out of their cars.”
Schoeb and Ibanez said they pulled more than 200 teeth before they had finished with all who waited. Schoeb said the line appeared so daunting that many who arrived gave up and left.
“We had such a long line we had to limit what we could do,” said Ibanez. “One lady got back in line after I was done with her and waited to be the last patient in so she could get more attention.”
Care focused on extractions, X-rays and cleanings. The dentists said they will set up another date to deal with restorative work, fillings and other needs, and will call back the patients who came May 17.
“Not one of them had a dime,” said Schoeb. “Nobody took advantage of us. They were really nice people. They are down on their luck. People were patient. I give it a 10.”
“Nobody left unhappy,” said Ibanez.
Parkway Pharmacy provided antibiotics at cost and the dentists stocked up thousands of dollars in supplies in advance.
“We tried to deal with infections and unrestorable teeth,” said Schoeb. “We had to get rid of rotten teeth.” Schoeb took out nine from one patient and Ibanez had a patient who needed eight to come out. They also removed wisdom teeth.
“People were in tears because they had been in pain for months,” said Schoeb. “A lot of people were at the point where they needed to go to the hospital.”
Steve Ambrosi of Crozet’s Domino’s Pizza provided lunch for the staff, which also volunteered for the day.
“I have emails from my patients saying they appreciate it because it’s helping their community,” Schoeb said. “There’s no government involvement here. No politics. We saw people and we paid for it all.”
“These were local people, all Crozet,” said Ibanez. “We didn’t turn anyone away.
“We came to Crozet from Connecticut five years ago. We love here. We’re not going anywhere. So we want to give back,” he said.
Schoeb said the day for providing restorative care will be sometime in the fall.