Free dental care is available this weekend at Bellevue Baptist Church through the South Central Mercy Mission.
Doors open at 6 a.m. on April 1 and 2.
The dental clinic will be in the church gymnasium.
Many people lined up on Friday night to get their seats.
“I came here at 10:30 p.m. last night to wait in line,” said a patient from Byhalia, Mississippi. “I’ve been here before and I know how it works. If you’re not in line early, you won’t get in.
Since 2016, the annual dental clinic has helped over 10,000 patients with nearly $6 million in free dental care. Dentists and dental hygienists volunteer to offer exams, fillings, cleanings, extractions, and even partial dentures to restore the smile.
The pandemic forced the cancellation of the annual event in 2021, and it had to be rescheduled to 2022 from January to April.
“Thank goodness the numbers are down for COVID,” said Dr. Stuart Hudsmith, clinic chair for Mid-South Mission of Mercy. “But there’s a pent-up demand for dental services for the underserved in Memphis and Shelby Co. We felt like we just couldn’t put that off for a year.”
Patients say they are grateful the event is back this year.
“Everything went perfectly well,” said Kaneisha Currie of Memphis. “It was splendid. They provided the best service. I didn’t feel anything. It wasn’t painful and they just made me feel so relaxed and happy the whole time.
Another patient added, “I missed it personally, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who missed it because dental care is so expensive and hard to get. It’s a very good program, it’s a very good service that they render to the people of our community.
According to a message from the church, there are no eligibility requirements and no appointment is necessary.
Services include cleanings, fillings and extractions, Bellevue said.
The clinic is open to children and adults. Children must be accompanied by a guardian.
Bellevue is located at 2000 Appling Rd., Cordoba.
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