In the above photo, Dr. William Nerestant and his assistants, Betzi and Joan, smile for the camera before leaving for Jamaica last year on a missions trip to help the less fortunate with their dental needs.
THESE DAYS, we think a lot about personal responsibility and giving back. Some of us might donate to a food pantry or give to a charitable cause, while others choose to give time of their talents and resources to those in need. From the local community in Lakeland to people halfway around the world, Dr. William Nerestant of Midtown Dental and his staff are working to do their part for those who need dental care.
For starters, the Lakeland-based dentist office offers its services to residents free for a day in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Polk County. This year’s event, the Seventh Annual Free Dental Day, will be on November 20. “At Midtown Dental, we are dedicated to delivering healthy teeth and gums for the residents of Polk County and surrounding communities by offering free dental services to adults ages 18 and up who cannot afford dental care or dental insurance,” Dr. Nerestant maintains. “We offer free oral health care services such as comprehensive exams, all necessary X-rays, and an option of dental cleaning, up to two fillings, or three extractions.”
“Community service is very important to me,” shares Dr. Nerestant. “I choose to use my talents because I am a byproduct of other people, such as my military colleagues, parents, teachers, and my Midtown Dental team. They all have been very generous.” Furthermore, Dr. Nerestant has worked with Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine for eight years. He and his team donate to the American Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer and walk the benefit 5K in Bartow as well. They also collect canned goods and toys at the holidays. “Last Christmas, we hand-delivered toys to an Achievement Academy classroom,” Dr. Nerestant shares.
Midtown Dental’s good works reach far beyond Polk County. “We have worked in countries all around the world as far as Africa. Just to name a few, we have done outreach in Cameroon, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic since 1999. This year I will be going to Belize,” he adds. They bring dental supplies, medicine, and their services, which are desperately needed. “In Cameroon, we visited an area that had a population of over one million, but not one dentist among them. There was only so much we were able to do, but we helped as many people as possible in a full day,” recalls Dr. Nerestant.
“This outreach is medical, dental, and spiritual,” Dr. Nerestant states. “I want to offer something that is taken for granted here in the United States. It is a very rewarding experience that is life changing.”
article by ERIKA ALDRICH