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Provo • Nearly 100 refugees, including many who had never visited a dentist, received dental care during Utah's Smiles for Refugees week.

The Daily Herald reports Harry Schein North American Dental Practice Solutions, Share a Smile, Catholic Community Services and other volunteers came together to help the refugees with the most pressing need for dental care.

"Our priority right now has been pain. A lot of them have been in pain for years and years," said Heather Hogue, executive director of Share a Smile. "The idea is for us is to give them the same quality dental care that we get. If I break a tooth, I don't want it pulled out. I don't want a gap in my teeth."

Kevin Bunker, president of Harry Schein North American Dental Practice Solutions, said that the majority of people seen during the event had never been to a dentist before.

"It's just a huge, huge need and the good news is that there's a lot of people in the community that want to help," he said.

Smiles for Refugees relies not only on dentists and hygienists but also translators, people transporting refugees and office staff.

"It takes a lot of goodwill," said Hogue. "A lot (of) hands in a lot of places."

Mohamed Anas, a Malaysian refugee, came to the United States a few months ago and was in the office to get his teeth cleaned.

"I feel happy and very cool" about receiving dental care, said Anas, who was smiling while sitting in the waiting area.

Share a Smile clinic manager Josh Robinson said the job can be very rewarding. He said they were able to help a patient earlier in the week who was missing a front tooth and didn't smile.

After replacing the tooth, the man left with a grin on his face, said Robinson.

"There's a lot of people in need," he said. "They've had hard lives. They are gone from the home that they love and they need some help."