Free Dental Care on Valentine’s Day in Chicago at Big Smile. My 2011 Visit. Ready for 2012?

Did you know that on Valentine’s Day, every year now, Big Smile Dental does free dental work for anybody that shows up. 2833 N Milwaukee Ave. That’s the good news. The BAD news is that I went last year, 2011, and I’ve had 365 days to right this piece and I’m only now getting around to it. My intentions, last year, was to let you guys know how to get there and generally how the experience was. But here I am, one WHOLE year late. And on here we are on Valentine’s Day 2012 and it’s already noon. Woops! Well, maybe you can use the info for next year.

Big Smile Dental

Basically here’s the deal Big Smile Dental is owned and operated by Dr. Siegel and according to the press release “No one will be refused FREE treatment on Valentine’s Day,” states Dr. Siegel, “but it is my hope that the truly needy in the community who fear dental bills more than they fear dental treatment, will be first in line to take advantage of this opportunity.” And I’m here to say last year I personally went and had my teeth cleaned.

Big Smile staff

His practice is located in Logan’s Square and you’ve gotta be careful on directions if you’re taking the train. Basically you need to turn LEFT when you get off. I’ll put a map so you can see.

 

I think I got there around 530AM because I really had no idea how many people in all of Chicago would show up for this free dental work. But I wasn’t too far down the block, see photos below.

The line

It was pretty damn cold the day I went. Last year we had an insane winter, and this year was a piece of cake; warm and no snow. So I showed up and it was dark as hell and cold as hell and I walked the wrong way (I went RIGHT when I got off the train) and I was counting the street numbers, so I went a super long way. And then finally I looked the address up on my phone and realized I had it WRONG, so had to turn around in walk the opposite direction in boots not made for distance but snow.

The line again

OK, let’s get to the good stuff. When they staff arrived, I think it was about 8AM, they handed out numbers to everybody. I’m pretty sure they only went to 100, so that deal about seeing everybody I don’t really know how real that is. But I imagine if you show up with a mouth full of blood and your person 101 they’ll still see you.

Now the day I went it seemed they were only doing about 3 types of procedures; cleaning, pulling teeth and maybe x-rays. But the press release for this year says.

No appointments will be made, patients will be given a time for their treatment on a first come, first serve bases Valentines morning and as much treatment will be accomplished as time allows.  “This will not be comprehensive care,” says Dr. Siegel, “rather, we will attempt to satisfy patients’ immediate needs in the time we have available.” Treatment will include cleanings, x-rays, fillings, extractions, diagnostics, and pain control.

Now let’s go back to my 2011 visit. The good thing about the numbers being handed out is that you can LEAVE once they give you your number and then take a guess as to when to come back. My number was maybe 67 and so I figured I had until the later part of the day. I went to the library to spend the morning. And that was great.

 

Speaking of great. What the doctor, his staff and fellow dental professionals are doing sis pretty damn awesome. Did I mention they work the day without pay? Well they do. Speaking of that let’s give a shout out to the other pros.

Dr. Chad Abed D.D.S.

Dr. Gina Kim D.D.S

Dr. David Hanson, M.D., D.D.S., the Lincoln Park Institute for Oral & Cosmetic Surgery,

Dr. Gary Hosters, D.D.S., Norwood Park Periodontics,

Dr. Henry Lotsof, D.D.S., the Ravenswood Dental Group

I think it was Dr. Hanson who did my cleaning.