Free dental care offered for kids in need

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- Meet 12-year-old Joaquin Cerda. He enjoys playing basketball with his friends each week at his neighborhood Boys and Girls Club.

Dr. James Paschal talks about helping children who are uninsured or underinsured

Nothing stopped him from running up and down the court, but that wasn't always the case. One day his tooth started to hurt. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst, Joaquin said his pain was at an eight.

He said it was hard to sleep and concentrate in class so he took action.

"I went to the nurse at school because my teeth were really bothering me," said Joaquin.

She referred Joaquin to Dr. James Paschal at West Reno Dental. He says over the last 25 years he has helped more than a hundred kids like Joaquin.

"They're referred through the program here and we just get the name of somebody who is coming in and they show up here and we take care of whatever they need," said Dr. Paschal.

The services include filling cavities, cleanings, x-rays, tooth removal, and minor orthodontics.

Turns out Joaquin was suffering from an infection. He was quickly treated.

KOLO 8 News Now's Noah Bond asked Joaquin, "After you went to the dentist, how long did it take for the pain to go away?" Joaquin responded, "Like a few hours."

He says the pain never came back and once again Joaquin was able to play basketball, go to school, and sleep without the distraction of pain.

"They are very appreciative and they show their appreciation and their parents show their appreciation and their parents are usually on the verge of tears that somebody will help them out like this," said Dr. Paschal.

Joaquin is one of many many students referred to local dentists like Dr. James Paschal ready and willing to help kids who are uninsured or under-insured.

"We're happy to try and help you. They have to go through a screening process to get into this program," said Dr. Paschal.

"What do you want to say to the dentist who helped you?" asked Bond. Joaquin responded, "Thank you for all the help that you did for me and all the things because they were nice."

Northern Nevada Dental Health Programs is a 2018 KOLOCares Pillar Partner.

Dr. Paschal has practiced in Reno since 1982 and is accepting new patients at West Reno Dental at 9680 South McCarran Boulevard.