Hundreds lined up Friday to receive more than $1 million worth of free dental care.
Going to the dentist can be frightening for many, but for those who haven’t been able to afford to see one in years, it’s a different story.
The lined formed early Friday morning at the Atlanta Trade Center on Jeurgens Court in Norcross, where attendees received dental work for free. The Georgia Mission of Mercy is responsible for gathering more than 1,500 dentists, hygienists, nurses and dental assistants.
“I think it’s a blessing,” said Edwin Weaver.
He told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie that he’s never been able to pay for dental work and has been in pain for more than two years.
“I had (a) filling put in and I had my teeth fixed. I’m fixing to be cleaned and get a partial,” Weaver told Lucie.
Saturday is the last day, and the clinic is being held from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. The next free large-scale dental clinic will not be available until June 2015.
“The last time we did this, we provided care for over 2,000 patients in two days,” Dr. Marshall Mann, of Rome, said.
He said this is his way of giving back.
“This will change your life when you are able to give back to those who need it most. It thrills you,” Mann said.
One of the patients was Rhelda Young, who needed to get her front teeth fixed. She said she’s been in pain for a long time. A dentist decided it would be best to pull some of her teeth and give her dentures.
She told Lucie she’s not used to the dentures yet, but will soon have a big smile on her face.
Patients attending the clinic received X-rays for dentists to determine what they needed most. For David Brown, that was a filling.
“This is really big. I had a hole in my tooth, and it’s been bothering me for three weeks now, so I definitely recommend people come here,” Brown said.
“If anybody needs dental work, they better try to get it done here because you can’t beat this,” said Weaver.
Patients will be served on a first-come, first-served basis for Saturday's clinic and will not be required to show identification or documentation of need.