Hundreds Wait for Hours for Free Dental Care
Hundreds of people lined up at the Chemeketa Community College in Salem on Friday in the hopes of having their teeth cleaned or have a bad tooth extracted. At dawn, around 300 people were already lined up outside the fifth Mission of Mercy free dental clinic in the State of Oregon.
Some of the people have been at the line for 24 hours. At the front of the line is a tent that belongs to Kory Brown and his wife, Leslie Bowers. They are from Kalama, Washington and came to Oregon just to receive free dental care. They said that they were determined to be the first in line.
Brown said that he needs a root canal and Bowers requires a removable partial denture as replacement for a dead tooth. The removable denture can be built at the free dental clinic but for only a limited number of patients. That is why the couple was determined to be the first to make sure that she gets one.
The Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is sponsored by the Oregon Dental Association and volunteers do the fillings, cleanings, extractions, and other treatments on a first come, first serve basis. It was the first time the free clinic was held in Salem. It was held in Portland in 2013.
Around 1,200 people were expected to come to the free dental event. Workers have set up a dental city that was supervised by a retired pediatric dentist, Weston Heringer Jr. He was also a volunteer at the past free dental clinics.
Heringer said that there are lots of Third World dental diseases in the United States that are comparable in the actual Third World. Aside from the treatments, patients also receive free toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste. They also get a dental hygiene education. Address: Chemeketa Community College in Salem.
Photo by Elizabeth Allen [Public domain], undefined