Free dental services estimated at $725K - - Jackson, MS

Free dental services estimated at $725K

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

People from all over the state got free dental care this weekend.

The Mississippi Dental Association, along with partners, held its first clinic for the disadvantaged, an effort to relieve sufferers of dental pain and disease.

It wasn't your usual visit to the dentist.

For the second straight day the Jackson Convention Complex was transformed into a giant dental clinic, offering free fillings and tooth extraction.

"I couldn't afford it because I've been unemployed for three years," said Mary Alexander Lee of Ridgeland.

Lee wiped away tears of joy after getting a tooth pulled and a filling.

"When I lost my job I couldn't afford dental care, so this has been a blessing. I've been crying most of the day and thanking them and thanking God for the service." said Lee.

Mississippi Mission of Mercy brought together more than 100 dentists and 350 volunteers to provide the treatment.

The American Dental Care Foundation contributed $30,000.00 to purchase equipment and supplies.

Corporate and private donors helped hold the more than $100,000.00 event.

"There's a need. These people, who've fallen through the cracks from not having private insurance, not having access to Medicare, Medicaid or not having CHIPA. And so these people are unable to have dental. The economy's not good so unfortunately there's a lot of dental need, and we're trying to take care of it today," said Mississippi Dental Association president Dr. Kevin Holman.

Patients underwent medical and dental triages, radiology, then x-ray, numbing and finally laying back and saying ah.

"My teeth had worn down so low that they were so sensitive I couldn't eat or drink," said Steven Daughdrill.

He is disabled and drove from Biloxi for the free tooth extraction and veneers.

"I needed to have the dental work done really bad, couldn't afford it, and this was a great opportunity even with the drive and a little bit of gas. I saved so much money and this was such a great service they did for the community," said Daughdrill.

The final stop is the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy for basic pain medications or antibiotics.

About 1,500 people were treated during the two day event, free services estimated at $725,000.00.

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