Submitted by Fish for Teeth organizers
Islanders unable to afford dental care can receive it for free thanks to the local nonprofit Fish for Teeth on Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30, at the Mullis Senior Center, at 589 Nash St., Friday Harbor.
The next two Fish for Teeth dental van visits will be six weeks apart to offer a wider range of more complicated procedures such as dentures, partials and crowns. Patients who have other dental needs may also be seen. The dental clinic will return to the Mullis Center on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11.
“Many volunteers and local businesses work as a team to bring this service to those who cannot otherwise afford dental care,” said Fish for Teeth Founder Matt Marinkovich, a San Juan Island commercial fisherman.
Fish for Teeth sponsors a mobile dental van for dental clinics on San Juan Island several times a year. The Medical Teams International’s van can handle dental hygiene appointments to root canals.
Patients are seen by appointment only. Pick up applications at the San Juan Island Family Resource Center or the county health department, or download them at www.fishforteeth.com. Submit applications to the San Juan County Health Department on Rhone Street. Volunteers, not health department employees, determine the schedule based on severity and space. Usually about 30 people are treated during a two-day clinic.
To raise funds for the van, Fish for Teeth volunteers sell fish tacos. The next sale will be from 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m., or until they sell out, on Friday, May 10, in Friday Harbor. Check www.fishforteeth.com for the exact location when it is finalized.
Marinkovich formed Fish for Teeth in 2007 after noticing a community need for affordable dental care. The Fish for Teeth board, comprised of local fishermen and dental professionals, sponsors the mobile dental clinic on San Juan Island. Fish for Teeth receives no federal funding and relies solely on donations, which are tax-deductible.