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Dental need exceeds capacity at Fayetteville event

Posted June 29, 2012

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— So many people lined up for free dental services in Fayetteville on Friday that organizers turned people away at the door.

The "Missions of Mercy" event was provided by America's Dentists Care Foundation and the North Carolina Dental Society at Fayetteville's Charlie Rose Agri-Expo Center. Doors opened at 6 a.m., but organizers said people had lined up as much as 22 hours beforehand. Within the first hour Friday, 700 patients had registered and hundreds of others were turned away.

Dennis Fort said he arrived at 1 a.m. Friday. "My aunt called me and said, 'Look, the line is getting long. You better hurry and get out here,'" he said. The free service was worth the wait for him. "It's a lifesaver," he said.

Dentist Roslyn Crisp said the long line sent a message about need in America. "Our system is broken, and I hope in the next few years we can do something to change that," she said.

The clinic continues Saturday, with registration again beginning at 6 a.m. Organizers recommended that people return Friday at midnight to get in line.

"Missions of Mercy" offers free dental care – from teeth cleaning and exams to fillings and extractions – through the services of dentists and dental students who volunteer their time. Adults making up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level can qualify for the free service. 

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  • fishon Jul 2, 2012

    When I was a child, it cost $5 to remove a tooth and $25 to fill it.
    1GrenadeUdGetchaAll

    And minimum wage was what, $1 an hour or less?

  • westernwake1 Jun 29, 2012

    When something a free the demand always exceed capacity. No surprise here.

    That being said - it is good to see the America's Dentists Care Foundation and the North Carolina Dental Society put on this "Missions of Mercy" event.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 29, 2012

    storchheim - "And baby after baby after baby after baby, all with different fathers. THAT'S what this country has come to."

    That's because they're basically getting paid to have babies.

    Personally, I agree with helping someone out with the first unplanned pregnancy when their income amount is below a certain level, but if they have any others - it should be on them.

  • storchheim Jun 29, 2012

    "ABO 2012 - "Check the parking lot for flashy cars and check the patients feet for latest cool sneakers."

    AMEN!!! And Blue Tooths and fake fingernails in the line."

    And baby after baby after baby after baby, all with different fathers. THAT'S what this country has come to.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 29, 2012

    Gunslinger - "No dental insurance, they just paid the bill."

    So did my parents, but costs were far cheaper then. When I was a child, it cost $5 to remove a tooth and $25 to fill it.

    Try getting dentist to do those things for those costs now.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 29, 2012

    ABO 2012 - "Check the parking lot for flashy cars and check the patients feet for latest cool sneakers."

    AMEN!!! And Blue Tooths and fake fingernails in the line.

    Some people just know how to milk the system, and have no scruples about doing so because they have no morals or character.

  • Comfortably Numb Jun 29, 2012

    Growing up, I'm 48 my brother is 41, we were pretty much middle class. Mama and daddy took us to the dentist every 6 months. No dental insurance, they just paid the bill. Now I pay for the coverage but can't use it because it covers hardly anything that they want or need to fix and I can't afford the rest. My brother has lost his job and has also lost a couple of teeth. He can not afford the insurance or the denatl bill. Am I still in America? It breaks my heart. Thanks to all of the volunteers for caring.

  • rachel Jun 29, 2012

    what is really a shame-years ago, I had no dental insurance, paid for my dental care at the time and no big deal. Now, I have dental insurance, so I pay the premiums, the dentist gets money from the insurer AND I pay out of pocket a lot more then I ever did when I didn't have insurance-what a nice racket they all have going- none of it did anything for me, except increased what I pay and to both the dentist and an insurer. Nice racket if you can get in on it. Our country is now to the point in some areas,specialties, that we now have to have mercy missions within our borders-very sad. And thank you to the providers, for the services to the many in need.

  • dsdaughtry Jun 29, 2012

    Dental care and dental insurance in America is a sham. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to offer dental care for children, but not adults, leaving improvement in access to oral health for adults a continuing challenge. Many dentists won’t see children on Medicaid because there’s no profit margin. Instead dentists turn to third party medical credit card systems that charge over 30% interest rate - if one qualifies. Dentistry and Optometry is considered less important than other forms of health care. You can visit an emergency room for any procedure other than dentistry or optometry - usually a pain reliever medication is dispensed and nothing more.

    Over 1000 people showed and that is only those that had transportation to make it. Think about the other tens of thousands possibly that require care that have no access to it not only because of no funds, no insurance, no transportation and possibly didnt know this free service was available?

  • promethazine codeine lover Jun 29, 2012

    Let do a dental day where ALL dental offices do this.

    Pre-registering of course. :D

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