August 17, 2012
Lynette says she arrived at 11:00pm Thursday night to camp out until the doors opened early the next morning, and was excited to have been number 44 in line for the Mission Of Mercy free dental clinic at the Verizon Wireless Center. She says she got chilly around 3:00am and sat in her car awhile to warm up.
The doors opened at 5:30am and the volunteer dentists, hygienists, support personnel served dental patients until closing time at 5:00pm. They'll do it again Saturday, from 5:30am to 5:00pm.
The Verizon Wireless Center donated the use of the facility for the free dental clinic, which is expected to provide 2,000 patients with $1,000,000 worth of dental care. The event is hosted by the Minnesota Dental Association.
Besides Lynette, KTOE News talked with other people who drove 100 miles or more to get dental care that they couldn't afford any other way.
Brian left White Bear Lake at 4:00am to make it early.
Sue drove from Rochester.
Tom lives closer to the Mankato area, he smiled through his chipmunk cheeks as he said how relieved he was to have gotten his wisdom teeth finally removed. He said he didn't feel a thing with a crooked, novocaine smile.
Several retirees we spoke with said they don't have dental insurance and can't afford dental care, so came for a checkup and cleaning, and any work that might be needed.
Doctor Theresa Fong, a Pediatric Dentist from the Twin Cities stepped away from a pre-teen girl to say that she felt so good about helping people, and the patients as well as the dental professionals were so happy to be there. Even the young girl for whom she was going to have to pull several teeth was so happy to be getting the dental care.
Day two of the free dental clinic is Saturday, doors will be open from 5:30am to 5:00pm at the Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato, Minnesota.