Several Rome dentists and their assistants joined forces over the weekend to honor Georgia National Guard members aiding in the COVID-10 crisis with a free dental screening.

Citizen soldiers from two Georgia Army National Guard units, close to 150 soldiers in all, were screened at the Redmond Road offices of Dr. Christopher Keenan.

Keenan was joined by Dr. Jason Oyler and Dr. Joe Vargo during the morning shift Saturday, while Dr. Ferdinand Padilla and Dr. Ben Knaak came in to help out during the afternoon hours.

“We had heard that the National Guard was helping with this COVID situation in the nursing homes and they needed the dental screening, so we just decided to do it,” said Keenan, who opened his offices to host the event.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to help these guys out,” said Oyler. “Donating half a day on a Saturday to get all these guys seen is great.”

Second Lt. Jacob Mizell, officer-in-charge from the Canton armory, said his unit has been deployed mainly to health care facilities on the east side of Interstate 75, while the soldiers from the Rome armory have been serving facilities within a certain radius of their base on Wilshire Road.

Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Hunter Glover, with the same unit, said over half of the unit came out for the free screening.

“We’ve done over 80 nursing homes and we’re running testing sites every day now,” Glover said.

Glover said that the Rome dentists offering to provide the free screening was a huge boost for the soldiers.

Keenan’s staff also volunteered their time to help out with things like x-rays.

Regina Gupta, a dental hygienist and instructor of dental hygiene at Georgia Highlands College in Rome, was among the group, who were fully decked out in personal protective equipment — gowns, masks and plastic face shields — to serve the troops.

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