Hundreds turn out for Mission of Mercy dental clinic at Indiana State Fairgrounds

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A free dental clinic at Indiana State Fairgrounds attracted huge crowds this weekend (12/13th May). The event, which was hosted by the Mission of Mercy, provided free dental care to adults and children.

People started to arrive on Thursday to get an appointment for the clinic, which opened its doors to the public on Friday morning. Many were content to camp out, waiting for hours in the cold to ensure that they could see a dentist. Appointments were available on a first come, first served basis and organisers encouraged those hoping to secure a slot to arrive early.

Chairman of Indiana Mission of Mercy, Dr Todd Briscoe, said that many people don’t get the treatment they need because they can’t afford it, and this leads to months, even years of suffering. The Mission of Mercy works to help those without insurance and the unemployed, and although the clinics can’t treat everyone, the teams of volunteers try to provide care for as many people as possible, with hundreds coming through the doors every day.

People tend to prioritise their general health, but there are numerous studies that link poor oral health to an increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It’s also very common for those with dental issues to experience a lack of confidence and difficulty getting a job.

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