Dentists asked to shine a light on Gastonia clinic

September 13, 2012 by  

The free dental clinic for people who cannot afford dental care is set to get underway on September 21 and 22 but organizers say that that at least 30 more dentists will be needed to tend to the expected number of participants. They are therefore looking for a response from volunteering dentists.

When the North Carolina Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic came to Gastonia two years ago, more than 100 people were lined up to receive dental care before the clinic opened. Dentists treated more than 630 patients over the two-day weekend, removed 1,200 teeth, drilled 700 fillings, and cleaned 300 teeth.

Donigan expects that number to increase at this year’s clinic, perhaps partly because the clinic will be offering free dentures to all. The clinic organizers are increasing the number of dentist chairs from 38 to 60, with a view towards providing treatment for 1,000 people. The increase in numbers means that more dentists are needed to fill in the gaps.

Volunteers are also needed to assist on both days. Poster printing and flyer printing would be good ways to get the word out, both for patients and to attract more dentists. Anyone interested should contact the Gaston Family Health Services for more information.

To qualify to receive the free dental care, patients must have an income 200% below the poverty line. A single person cannot make more than $21,780 annually, while a family of four must receive less than $44,700 annual income. The clinic is only available to adults.