The New Orleans Saints hosted the second annual TeamSmile event held at the NFL/YET Center in New Orleans on Friday.
18 dentists and a number of hygienists, LSU students and volunteers helped run the event that served 250 children. Services provided included full dental treatment, screening, digital x-ray, fillings, extractions, crowns, etc.
Former Saints WR/KR Michael Lewis and DB Mike McKenzie represented the New Orleans Saints at the event. The former black and gold greats signed autographs and took pictures with the kids.
"It is very important for kids to understand the importance of regular dental checkups," said Lewis. "To give them a free dental visit is special. It was great to see all the kids getting taken care of."
Bill Busch, executive director of TeamSmile, said that the dental work provided would normally cost each child $900, totaling more than $200,000 for the event. The New Orleans Saints, Henry Schein Dental, Dexis, Midmark, Dentrix and Colgate graciously provided technology and supplies for TeamSmile allowing the 250 children to be serviced for free.
Papa John's Pizza also donated a number of pizzas for the event's staff.
Participating dentists, assistants, hygienists, volunteers and children of TeamSmile will have their efforts recognized during the pregame of the Saints vs. Texans game on Saturday, Aug. 21. TeamSmile is a not-for-profit organization that teams up together dental and sports professionals to provide free dental health care for children. TeamSmile states that 52,000,000 school hours are lost every year due to tooth pain. The organization provides assistance to many New Orleans children who are uninsured and are in need of dental treatment.