Dr. Rainwater Leads Dentists With A Heart For Service

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Dr. Michael Rainwater continues traditions of service both in his family’s dental practice and as an organizer of the Dentistry with a Heart project for the Park Cities Rotary Club.

The family practice was started by his father, Gary, but Michael Rainwater has run it for the past 15 years.

The Rotary Club project he’s helped organize gathers dental professionals to provide free services to people in need who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them. Services provided include extractions, fillings, cleanings, and dental education.

“We meet (the patients) that day and take care of them. It’s interesting and rewarding and challenging. Rotary provides a great path to serve others.” -Dr.Michael Rainwater

Dr. Michael Rainwater sits with a patient in 2010.

Rainwater said volunteers are not able to serve every dental need at the event on-site but do their best to care for the patients they see.

He, along with fellow Park Cities Rotarians Dr. Moody Alexander and Dr. Roy Washburn, started the Dentistry with a Heart event in 2010. Alexander, an orthodontist, was the initial catalyst and helped recruit volunteers, Rainwater helped, and Washburn hosted the event for its first five years until he retired.

These days the event is held at Agape Clinic, 4104 Junius St., a nonprofit medical center.

Alexander died in 2018, and past Park Cities Rotary Club president Fred Brown has helped take up a leadership role in the event along with Rainwater.

Rainwater said volunteers had provided $317,385 in dental services to 529 low-income Dallas residents since 2010.

The most recent event in October provided more than $37,000 in dental services to 39 patients. It involved eight dentists, two oral surgery residents, three hygienists, three dental assistants, and five dental students volunteering.

Organizations including the Salvation Army, Senior Source, All Nations Church, and Bonton Farms help identify patients for the event, and the Texas A&M Dental School, the Dallas County Dental Society, and the Agape Clinic help provide additional volunteers.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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