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      ''Doctors with a Heart'' gives free dental care

      Northern Michigan residents without insurance were still able to get their teeth taken care of Wednesday - free of charge.

      The 16th annual "Doctors with a Heart" took place Wednesday at Deerhaven Family Dentistry in Traverse City.

      Thanks to Dr. Steven Niergarth, Dr. Jason Merrithew, and Dr. Dan Madion - dentists/oral surgeon who wanted a way to give back to the community - people unable to pay for basic dental care could receive a cleaning, fillings, or extractions at no cost. All of the employees work the day for free.

      People began lining up at 5:30am Wednesday, with the first patients being accepted at 8:00am.

      "Usually people that'll come in with a lot of cavities in their front teeth and just really broken down teeth - you can just tell their self esteem is really low," said Dr. Niergarth of Deerhaven Family Dentistry. "You know, I've had people hug me afterwards saying 'oh thank you so much, I'm going to be able to go apply for a job now and not be embarrassed when I walk in'. And have a decent smile. That's definitely been the best part. That and just getting people out of pain."

      Throughout the day "Doctors with a Heart" usually serves 75 to 100 people.