FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) – Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are expected to flood Fuquay-Varina for free dental care Friday and Saturday.
The clinic is meant to help adults who can’t afford access to a dentist. The clinic is hosted by North Carolina Missions of Mercy, which is an outreach program that holds free clinics across the state.
The event is happening at 405 E. Broad St. in Fuquay-Varina at the old Stephens Hardware building.
Services include teeth cleaning, fillings, extractions, and partial denture construction. Each person gets one service and there are no appointments, so hundreds lined up to ensure they got a spot on Thursday. Organizers said 400 wristbands were given out for people to return Friday morning by 5 a.m. to get the care they need.
One man at the clinic told CBS North Carolina that he neglected his teeth for years for a number of reasons.
“Lack of money, stupidity. Make a buck, you know, the dentist will come later. Now at 62, I’m finding out that the dentist should’ve come first,” said Stephen Kellenbeck, of Garner.
He spent four hours waiting in line on Thursday for a wristband and then another four hours Friday waiting to get his teeth worked on, he said. Kellenbeck said he had a broken tooth and one that needed a filling.
“I need to keep as many teeth in my head as possible,” he said.
Patients who didn’t get a wristband on Thursday can still wait in line Friday and be seen on a first-come, first-served basis after the first 400 people are seen.
Friday afternoon, around 4 p.m., volunteers will hand out another 400 numbered wristbands to patients. Those patients will come back Saturday morning at 5 a.m. for their free dental care.
After they’re all seen, it will be first-come, first-served for anyone else needing help with their teeth.
The two-day clinic takes close to 300 volunteers to put together and costs more than $70,000 and many, many donations.
Organizers said they hope to see 500 to 1,000 people each day.