MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Final preps are underway for an annual event that serves the Mid-South’s pearly whites.
The 4th annual Mid-South Mission of Mercy free dental clinic kicks off Friday at Bellevue Baptist Church on Appling Road.
It's the fourth year for the charitable dental clinic, held by the Memphis Dental Society and Shelby County Dental Society.
“You're going to have the largest mobile dental unit in the world right here at Bellevue Baptist tomorrow,” said CEO Mitchel S. Godat.
Volunteers started arriving at Bellevue Baptist Church on Thursday. It takes more than 6,000 volunteers like Willie McFarland to set up and serve.
“It means that I’m being faithful to the Lord,” McFarland said about what it means for him to give back each year.
The event is open to anyone, no appointment needed, no license required, no proof of income or insurance.
It’s first come, first serve.
“Most people that come out here don’t have a personal dentist first of all and a lot of them are afraid of dentists so they come out here usually in pain and discomfort in hopes of maybe getting a little relief,” McFarland said.
“It’s for adults and children we’re doing fillings, extractions, and cleanings and that’s how we’re helping out the Mid-South is taking care of the dental needs,” Godat said. “We all know people can be in pain or not like the appearance of their smile.”
Since 2016, they’ve have provided more than $3.4 million worth of dentistry to 6,200 patients in the greater Memphis area.
Godat said it’s about more than dental services.
“But also it’s about overall health,” Godat said. “It’s not just about the health of your mouth but your whole body.”
The doors to the clinic open Friday at 6 a.m. People are encouraged to dress warmly and arrive early.
If you can't make it to the clinic Friday, it runs through Saturday as well.
For more information, visit their website.