20th Annual Dental Day helps uninsured families - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

20th Annual Dental Day helps uninsured families

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KENNEWICK, Wash;-- About 150 families from all over the Tri-Cities spent the morning with leaders in the pediatric dental field to make sure their children walked out with clean teeth and a healthier smile.

Columbia Basin Pediatric Dentistry in Kennewick and Advanced Pediatric Dentistry in Pasco were packed at 8a.m. and dentists say much of that is due to families struggling to pay for dental insurance.

Today marks the 20th year that Children's Dental Day has been offered here and dentists tell say the annual event is more important to the community than ever before. The value of donated care provided today reached about $50,000 dollars. Its money one pediatric dentist says will help those who have lost insurance during tough times.

"Unfortunately when people are paying their bills I think dentistry is way down the line," Dentist Rusty Walker said. "However, there is a very strong need for dental care in this community."

Dr. Walker also says one out of every five children have serious dental problems that can threaten their lives, which makes the need for proper dental care even greater.