Submitted by Fish for Teeth
Islanders unable to afford dental care can receive it for free, thanks to the local nonprofit Fish For Teeth, on Friday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Mullis Community Center on San Juan Island.
“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 two-day dental clinics on San Juan Island, three times a year. The Medical Teams International’s van can handle a variety of services, including teeth cleanings and 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. Volunteers, not the county health department employees, determine scheduling a week before the clinics. Usually, about 30 people are treated during a two-day clinic.
To raise funds for the van, Fish For Teeth will sell fish tacos on Friday, Oct. 4 from 11 a.m. -1 p.m., or until the tacos sell out, outside the San Juan Community Theatre in Friday Harbor. Tacos, which are as large as burritos, are $8 each and made with Alaskan rockfish harvest. They are topped with Pablitos salsa, Tillamook cheese, fresh greens and a squeeze of lime.
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 every January, May and October in the San Juan Islands. Fish For Teeth receives no federal funding and relies solely on donations, which are tax-deductible.