Organizers are once again preparing for the state’s largest free dental clinic this weekend. Over the course of two days this week, 1,800 patients are expected to receive much needed dental care.
The 10th annual Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy is scheduled to this Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside the arena on the Arizona State Fairgrounds at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road. The services could possibly end early on Saturday if resources run out. The Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation organizes this event annually.
This year, the no appointment, free clinic will welcome patients of all ages on a first-come, first-served basis. IDs are required to be seen.
“While we’ve been providing dental services through AZMOM [Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy] for a decade, the lines don’t get shorter,” Dr. Ann Hammi-Blue, the group’s board president, said in a press release.
“Dental challenges often prevent people from being able to eat nutritiously, apply for many types of jobs, or socially connect. Sadly, we see the most significant need for preventative dental treatment amongst our most vulnerable populations – the elderly, veterans and children.”
Gates to the area will open at 5 a.m. on Friday, allowing patients to line up on the west side of the Coliseum. Overnight camping at the site will not be allowed.
More than 300 volunteer dentists, along with 1,200 volunteer dental hygienists, dental assistants, translators and lab personnel will be volunteering their time to provide care focusing on treating pain and infections.
The services that will be offered will include fillings, extractions and cleanings, with lab work available on a limited basis.
More information on the clinic, or to donate, visit the Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy website.