Between today and Saturday, more than 1,500 people will volunteer their time to provide free dental care for 2,200 people who would not otherwise be able to receive it.
Through the Connecticut Mission of Mercy, patients will receive dental and general health screenings, as well as x- rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral surgery, tooth replacements and root canals.
Judi Munck, of North Haven, got into line at 1 a.m. on Friday to be among the first patients treated at the clinic and get fillings.
She's traveled all over the over the state to attend at least five previous free dental clinic events because she is no longer working. Without dental coverage, this type of event is her only option for care.
“When you’re retired, you know, it’s difficult to pay all the bills and pay for dental work," she said. "It’s an opportunity for people like myself that are on a fixed income.”
This is the eighth annual event and it’s open to the public.
“This event has become quote on quote “dental home” for a lot of people. We have a lot of people who have come year after year. This is where they come, even though they can only get it once a year,” Dr. Jonathan Knapp, a dentist, said.
The doors of the free dental clinic are closed for the day on Friday, because the clinic reached capactity, but they will be open on Saturday at the O’Neill Center on the Westside Campus of Western Connecticut State University, 43 Lake Avenue Extension in Danbury.
Since 2008, the Connecticut Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic, in collaboration
with the Connecticut State Dental Association, has treated 13,246 patients and provided
$7,686,102 in free dental services to patients.
Past clinics were held in Tolland, New Haven, Middletown, Waterbury, Danbury, Bridgeport and Hartford.