Dan Chastain Sr. has been coping with a throbbing toothache since December. He has been without dental insurance since he lost his job last year.
The Napa husband and father has been dealing with daily pain and needed to have a tooth pulled. But he didn’t know how he was going to pay for it without insurance.
His wife, Cynthia Chastain, took him to a free dental appointment on Friday morning — free because of the philanthropic efforts of three local dentists, spearheaded by dentist Adrian Fenderson. Assisting him with seeing patients were fellow dentists Maryam Mohsenzadeh and Evelyn Calayag.
“My wife drove me this morning. She’s here to support for me today. I didn’t quite know what to expect,” Dan Chastain said. “I am sure I am going to feel much better now.”
“Dr. Fenderson is a blessing to this county and we just want to thank him for doing this,” said Cynthia Chastain sitting in the waiting room, after her husband’s tooth had been pulled and he was recuperating.
The husband and wife, with their toddler daughter in tow, arrived at dentist Adrian Fenderson’s office on Valle Verde Drive at 8:25 a.m.
There were already 20 people in line ahead of him for the annual free dental emergency clinic.
At 9:30 Friday morning Fenderson said he already had 42 people scheduled for dental work.
The majority of patients were adults. Fenderson said young children would be coming in late afternoon after school.
Fenderson opens his office and heart to Napa’s less fortunate once a year for a free emergency dental health care clinic. This is the second year he has offered the free dental health care.
He and two other dentists offer their time free of charge for this clinic that started one year ago. Fenderson estimates it cost him between $8,000 and $10,000 to offer the free dental care.
Fenderson sent out about 5,000 e-mails and posted flyers at various locations throughout Napa.
“I do it because I enjoy it and there is a need — especially in these tough economic times,” said Fenderson, who has practiced dentistry in Napa for 38 years.
“I’ve been doing this outreach all over the world, and last year somebody asked me why I didn’t offer it in Napa,” he said.
On Friday, Fenderson arrived at his office at
7 a.m. and expected he would not leave until at least 5 p.m.
Any patient who did not get in for an appointment was going to be given a rain check.
Fenderson said he truly loves his work. “To me, what I am doing today is pure dentistry,” he said.