SKOWHEGAN — Volunteers at Northwoods Dental on North Avenue in Skowhegan will be among 20 dentists, 16 specialists, 23 dental hygienists and dozens of staff members who will offer their time Friday on the front lines of dental care.

They’ll provide free teeth cleanings, fillings and extractions to people who cannot afford regular dental care and do not have any dental coverage. Patients will be able to get one treatment each.

The services are free of charge, but it’s first-come, first-served, from 8 a.m. until noon Friday, said Dr. Joseph Penna, at Northwoods Dental. Penna’s wife, Dr. Demi Kouzounas, of Scarborough, who also works at the Skowhegan dental office, organizes Dentists Who Care for ME along with Dr. Barry Saltz, also of Scarborough.

Penna said his other office, Dunston Dental Center, on U.S. Route 1, in Scarborough, also will be participating. The practice has been open for about five years in Skowhegan. The free program is in its eighth year.

“The reason that we did it is to give back to the community,” Penna said by phone Wednesday. “We did it to give to people who have fallen through the cracks.”

Penna said children can receive dental care through the state, but adults often are unable to see a dentist. “This is not for kids,” he said. “This is for adults who are either unemployed or who just can’t find a way to get to the dentist.”


All of the people at the practices in Maine are offering their time with no pay, he said.

Dentists Who Care for ME offers one oral care service or a referral to a specialist if needed.

Appointments will not be taken prior to Friday. Vouchers for free services by dental specialists will be distributed by the referring dentist to patients who need more comprehensive procedures.

Kouzounas estimates that the program, now in its eighth year, has examined and treated more than 3,000 patients and provided services valued at over $1 million, according to a news release from Lucas Knowles, membership and communications professional at the Maine Dental Association.

This year, for the first time, 63 second-year University of New England dental students will be volunteering as part of the Dentists Who Care for ME program.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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