Getting a tooth pulled or filled can not only be a painful experience but it can also be costly. But avoiding the dentist can be more painful still.

On Friday, the staff at Eagle Creek Village Dental in View Royal will try to help ease the worry by holding a Free Dental Day.

"Many people end up with oral health issues because they can't access dentistry on a regular basis," said Dr. Frank Van Gyn. "This is our way of trying to mitigate health issues in the communities we live in."

Van Gyn's practice is offering a free filling, cleaning or extraction to people who do not have dental benefits or the ability to afford a visit to the dentist.

For the past 10 years, it's estimated that Van Gyn and his staff have given away close to $400,000 worth of free dental work.

From dentists to receptionists, all of Van Gyn's staff donate their time to help in the cause. Employee families and friends are also on hand to help with patients taking advantage of the free service.

Each year Van Gyn and the Eagle Creek Village Dental staff hope other Greater Victoria dental practices will join them in offering free dental care.

"The local population we serve doesn't end at our existing patients," said Van Gyn. "We'd love to see Free Dental Day become a local phenomenon with many practices donating their services to the community for one day."

It may be a marathon day of dental work, but Van Gyn's staff always look forward to this special day of giving out free smiles.