Dentist gives back to community with free clinic days, food drives EVERETT - Colleen Tracy is inspired to serve people in need.
The Silver Lake area dentist holds free dental care days and food drives from her clinic.
Right now, her office is offering $50 teeth cleanings through Friday, Dec. 21 to raise money for the Volunteers of America Food Bank. Her office is matching each $50 cleaning to make a $100 donation.
The offer includes an exam, X-rays and cleaning. Usually teeth cleanings alone cost $250, Tracy said.
When Tracy offered a similar deal this past summer about 20 people got their teeth cleaned, and she raised $1,500 for the food bank.
The clinic also holds free dental care days for the community. The next one is scheduled for March.
At the first free dental care day in mid-September, people lined up around the building on “dentist’s row” — at least 10 exist on 19th Avenue. People began lining up the night before and many latecomers were turned away.
Tracy, her father Ron Tracy, also a dentist, and children’s dentist Paul Kahlon saw 36 patients that day.
Tracy said she was surprised to treat a lot of young people — between 18 and 25 — who had rotting teeth.
Many people are waiting until their teeth need urgent care before seeing a dentist, Tracy said. Some stood in line in pain. A lot of teeth were pulled, she said.
“A lot of them clearly hadn’t been able to see a dentist in a while,” Tracy said.
Emergency dental work can cost thousands of dollars, and emergency rooms rarely can treat dental issues.
The Snohomish Health District has a list of low-cost dental care clinics on its website. The Community Health Centers of Snohomish County is one such clinic and has multiple locations.
Tracy has wanted to help the community for years, but decided 2012 was the year she’d act on it. The business was strong enough to eat the cost of things like the free dental care day, which costs a lot of money to provide service and dental equipment without colleting any revenue. The dentistry business is 75 percent overhead, Tracy said.
Tracy first volunteered years ago on a mission trip to Honduras. She’s considering going on another trip this spring. Seeing people struggle has encouraged her to help people in need.
Born in Edmonds, Tracy paid for dental school at the University of Washington by working as a dental assistant.
She took over another dentist’s downtown clinic before moving it to Silver Lake about six years ago.
Her daughter is following in the family footsteps and studying to become a dental assistant.
Her office also sponsors an essay contest where the winner receives a new laptop computer. A Mukilteo boy won this year’s contest.
Tracy operates All Family Dental Care.
The office is located at 10315 19th Avenue SE Suite 110, and its phone number is 425-337-1000.