2-day clinic offers free dental care for Mid-South

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A clinic in Memphis is offering free dental care for hundreds of people this weekend.

The two-day Mission of Mercy clinic kicked off at 6 a.m. Friday at Bellevue Baptist Church and runs through 4 p.m.

The goal was to offer free dental care to under served and uninsured people in the Mid-South.

"I know that people struggle everyday, and the fact that they are giving up their time to do this it's amazing," patient Amanda Hayes said.

It's the third year of the clinic, which will go through Saturday.

There are no eligibility or income requirements to attend, and there is no need for appointments--people will be taken care of on a first come, first serve basis.

More than 300 dentists from the Memphis Dental Society and Shelby County Dental Society volunteered to provide free dental services for more than 800 people, some who waited outside for several hours.

"It was worth it. Dental work is very expensive," patient Bonnie Lee said.

Dentists will provide cleanings, fillings, and extractions--one per patient per day.

The clinic is open to adults and children 2 years and older.

According to the event's website, since 2016 they've provided more than $2.3 million worth of dentistry to more than 4,200 patients in the greater Memphis area with the help of almost 4,000 volunteers.

Last year they held the clinic outside, but organizers said thanks to the generosity of Bellevue Baptist Church giving they were able to have it inside, saving tens of thousands of dollars. However, another difference this year was that organizers were taking extra precautions with the flu.

"We're taking temperatures at the door, so if you have a temperature of 101.5 and above we're not going to admit you today. Because we just don't want to spread the flu around," Dr. Mitchel Godat said.

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