Free dental clinics draws the crowds in Mount Airy

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A free dental clinic drew huge crowds in Mount Airy this weekend (Saturday 1st April). Hundreds of people turned out to take advantage of free dental treatment, which was provided as part of the Dentistry from the Heart scheme.

Crowds gathered at the clinic owned by Dr John L Gravitte in the early hours of Saturday morning, as eager patients waited in line to get an appointment. Some people had even travelled on Friday evening and queued overnight to guarantee they got a slot. There were long lines of traffic by 6 am and local police described scenes as “hectic” as the opening time approached.

During the day on Saturday, the team worked tirelessly to see as many people as possible, providing a range of basic treatments. The team was due to stop working at 5pm, but Emily McMillian said that it was very hard to turn people away, and this meant that hours were extended. By noon on Saturday, more than 300 people had turned up and the team had already treated around 75 patients.

April Worrell, 35, from Mount Airy, was one of many who arrived on Friday evening and camped out overnight. April had been suffering from pain as a result of a cracked tooth, which was also making her feel self-conscious. On Saturday, she had the troublesome tooth removed and she was incredibly grateful for the care she received.

Many people simply can’t afford to see a dentist on a regular basis, and this is why free clinics like those run by Mission of Mercy and Dentistry from the Heart are so valuable.

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