Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

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More than 2,200 patients are expected to seek free dental work at an annual clinic in Connecticut. People started lining up early Thursday for the event.

The seventh annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the XL Center in Hartford.

Organizers say more than 1,600 volunteers will provide services such as X-rays, general health screenings, cleanings, fillings, oral surgery, extractions and temporary partial prosthetics.

The clinic is first-come, first-served to those who come. A line of patients is expected to begin forming outside the XL Center's Trumbull Street entrance on Thursday evening and should continue during the night until the doors open at 6 a.m. Friday.

The Connecticut Mission of Mercy provides free dental care to the underserved and uninsured in Connecticut – those that would otherwise go without dental care.

Organizers say that oral health is inseparable from general health and can affect a person’s self-esteem, compromise their ability to work, attend school and lead a normal life.

Dr. Bruce Tandy with the Connecticut Mission of Mercy says there are thousands of people in Connecticut who don't qualify for Medicaid, but still can't afford dental services.

The Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach (CDFO) in collaboration with the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) held the state’s first Mission of Mercy project in 2008.

Every year, the Connecticut Mission of Mercy project is held in a different location throughout the state.

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