Free dental for Valentine’s

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Dr. Joseph Chu, center, is joined by his Kaua‘i Endontics ‘ohana, including Emily Dean, Lynne Lum, Mina Sagadraca and Angela Adam, in performing its ninth free-dental day for Valentine’s at Chu’s office on Kukui Grove Street in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — Cindy Bandmann of Kapahi was thrilled beyond words Wednesday while she waited on her husband in the Kaua‘i Endontics office.

“He really needed dental work done,” Bandmann said. “But we don’t have dental insurance. When the Ho‘ola Lahui clinic called saying it would be free, we couldn’t believe it. Free? I can’t believe we were lucky enough to get scheduled.”

Endontist Dr. Joseph Chu and the Kaua‘i Endontics staff were treating Bandmann’s husband for the ninth free-dental day, in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

“The girls like pink,” Chu said, discarding his medical mask between patients. “This goes with Valentine’s Day, too. We couldn’t get any sponsors this year, but the girls got together and put a goodie bag of dental-hygiene items for each of the patients.”

Patients are referred to Kaua‘i Endontics through the Ho‘ola Lahui Hawai‘i clinics in Kapa‘a and Waimea.

“Ho‘ola does a lot of work with the underserved,” Chu said. “A lot of the people we’re seeing are the seniors who don’t have dental insurance. It’s good to be able to help these people, and a joy at seeing how grateful they are.”

Lynne Lum, one of the Kaua‘i Endontics staff, said this is the ninth year hosting the free dental day since starting in 2011 when Chu was a commuting dentist.

“It’s been nine years,” Chu said. “And, God-willing, I hope to continue this for a long time.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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