Free dental clinic is changing lives in Wilmington - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Free dental clinic is changing lives in Wilmington

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Hundreds of people lined up to get free dental work in Downtown Wilmington. Hundreds of people lined up to get free dental work in Downtown Wilmington.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hundreds of people lined up Friday for the chance to fix dental issues that might be nearly impossible to fix otherwise. Some, even waiting years to address the issue due to financial problems.

The North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) portable free dental program is an outreach program of the North Carolina Dental Society, and it is at CFCC's Schwartz Center Friday and Saturday.

Dental services include fillings, extractions, dental cleanings, and a limited number of front-tooth partial dentures.

Currently, NCMOM has enough equipment to set up an 80 chair full dental clinic including digital x-ray, sterilization, and all instrumentation and supplies. Clinics are generally set up with 20 to 80 chairs and services are provided for 300 to 1000 patients over a period of two days.

Out of the hundreds waiting in line for hours Thursday night into Friday morning, one man said a former drug addiction has him looking to get 16 extractions.

"I haven't smiled in 10 years, and now I can start my life over, now that the addiction is no longer," said Adam Brewer, who was waiting in line.

Volunteers include dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, laboratory technicians and scores of professional and general volunteers from across the state. Additionally, the program enjoys a good relationship with CFCC's dental department, the UNC School of Dentistry and ECU School of Dental Medicine through their student volunteer organizations. Dental students participate as volunteer providers during each clinic and are an important part of the overall program.

The hours of the clinic are 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. on April 26 and 6 a.m. - 3 p.m. on April 27. Patients will be treated in order of their arrival. Qualified patients should have a family income of 200% or below the Federal Poverty Index

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