5 On Your Side

300 tickets available for Saturday's free dental clinic

Posted August 12, 2011

— Three hundred tickets will be available for Saturday's free dental clinic at the RBC Center in Raleigh. 

Organizers started handing out the tickets at 6 p.m. Friday.

The North Carolina Dental Society is holding the event, which offers examinations, x-rays, cleanings, restorations and extractions for anyone over the age of 18 with an income of less than $27,225 per year.

Up to 120 volunteer dentists and dental hygienists are staffing 80 dental chairs until 5 p.m. Friday and from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Patients are being treated on a first-come, first-served basis, with patient registration starting at 6 a.m.

Even people who have tickets for Saturday need to be lined up by 4:30 a.m. 

All of Friday’s tickets had been distributed by 11 a.m., and organizers said they expect to treat 400 people by the end of the day.

Hundreds get free dental work in Raleigh Hundreds get free dental work in Raleigh

Matt Craig, of Wendell, was among those who waited in line on Friday.

Craig, who is disabled and does not have insurance, says he lost 50 pounds in five years because his teeth hurt so much that he couldn't chew food. What little food he could eat, he got at the food bank. He said the clinic could change his life.

"It's amazing. I'm so happy," Craig said. "If I couldn't have come here, I'd be going on with pain for the rest of my life."

Inez Reid rode her scooter Friday to the RBC Center, where volunteers pulled one of her teeth. She's hoping to eventually have a full set of dentures.

"When you have your teeth and everything, it just brings the confidence out in you," Reid said.

Caregiver benefits from free dental clinic Caregiver benefits from free dental clinic

Reuben Ewert was also among those getting dental work on Friday. He used to be a full-time evangelist but now serves as his wife's main caretaker after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Uninsured and living on Social Security, the couple would otherwise go without a trip to the dentist.

"We always poured all of our money into the ministry, so we found ourselves where we are tight financially," Ewert said.


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  • geoherb1 Aug 15, 2011

    It's great that these dentists and hygienists could offer to provide service to people who can't afford it.

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Aug 12, 2011

    will they be giving out dental damm?

  • nascarguy Aug 12, 2011

    "Up to 120 volunteer dentists and dental hygienists are staffing"

    O.K., volunteering their time and expertise to the public. Good for them, I applaud them.

  • nascarguy Aug 12, 2011

    I think it's wonderful unless it's taxpayer funded. Neither this article or their website makes it clear.

  • scifion Aug 12, 2011

    >>"$450k-$600K per year income"

    ADA lists average dentist income at $130k, with the lower end at ~$80k (military) and the upper end at ~$450k for specialists who have been in practice a long time.

    And I don't have fangs.

  • Dirty_Water Aug 12, 2011

    4 years of dental school yields no serious issues with malpractice insurance, a 3 1/2 day work week and $450k-$600K per year income. They should be MANDATED to provide this care on one of their 3 1/2 days off since the education is heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Sheesh. And further, let dental hygienists work for themselves and the cost of cleaning your fangs would drop by 2/3s.

    I get my fangs cleaned every three months at the Halifax Co. Comm. College by sweet, lovely little ladies learning to become wage slaves to rich Dentists. Cost for a cleaning? $20. X-rays are free so they can learn to do that too.

  • random musings Aug 12, 2011

    I am disgusted by the lack of compassion some people on here seem to have for those who do not make much money. To all of you - I hope you lose every last penny you have, and have to take a minimum wage paying job (if you can find one) and suffer with medical conditions you can not afford to treat. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU.

    To the dentists and techs who are volunteering their time and services- You are doing a wonderful thing, and should be proud of yourselves for helping the less fortunate.

  • whistler411 Aug 12, 2011

    My dentist charged $398 for one filling. Thankfully I have dental insurance that covered HALF of that and I could afford the other half. I'm sure alot of these people have no other options. This is a volunteer effort on the part of the dentists, is it not? Why would anyone complain about it going on? Unless you are just a heartless person who likes the idea of those who are less fortunate suffering, which I am starting to be convinced is exactly how most of those who consider themselves in the "Upper" class are.

  • Bill Brasky Aug 12, 2011

    "Now that is the stupidest thing I've heard all day. Just think how great this country would be without the non-functioning dragging everyone else down."

    The lower class is non-fuctioning? They do all the work that no one else wants to do. This country would be an anarchy in a matter of a week if the lower class walked off their jobs.

  • scifion Aug 12, 2011

    >>"Just think how great this country would be without the non-functioning dragging everyone else down."

    I lack imagination. Please tell me how great this country would be without the poor and homeless. Please don't skimp on the details, and please, oh pretty please tell me wha tyour solution is for engineering such a wonderful society. Thanks a bunch!