(06/07/13) - Free dental care for anyone who needs it. Sound too good to be
true? In this case - it's not.
I's called the 'Mission of Mercy'. Dentists from across the state have teamed up for two days to help as many people as they can.
It's unusual to see this many people, so willing to visit the dentist.
Tammy Broyles and her daughter Mara are two of many who overcame their fear and came to the Ryder Center at Saginaw Valley State University.
"My work said, sorry, we can give you medical but not dental," Tammy said.
That's a familiar story to the dentists and their staff, who are all here volunteering their time.
It's part of the 'Mission of Mercy', a nationwide effort making its first stop in Michigan. They were brought here by the Michigan Dental Association. All funding was made possible through donations and grants.
In two days, they hope to treat 2,000 people.
"Absolutely free. There are no questions asked other than your medical history," said Dr. Shelly Jones, of Jones & Jones General Dentistry.
That's simply unbelievable to Mary Laur, of Sanford.
"I am still just like, really?" she said.
Laur needs some serious work, but simply can't afford it.
"Filling, cleaning and all four of my wisdom teeth taken out," she said.
Mary says she can't chew on one side of her mouth.
For James Boynton of Midland, the pain is far worse.
"Kind of like sticking a, like a box of nails in your mouth and saying bite down," he said.
He hasn't seen a dentist in 5 years, but he couldn't wait to see one Friday.
"You don't have to pay for it, come get your teeth pulled, why not?" he said.
Patients are checked out to make sure they can handle the procedures, and then put on a triage list.
"Always, always the first priority is treatment of infection and pain," Jones said.
For Tammy, this clinic was less about her own sore tooth, and more about providing a pain-free life for her daughter.
"Very thankful, very, very thankful," she said.
If you miss today, no worries. The free clinic runs again Saturday from 5 a.m. - 5 p.m.
For more information, click HERE.
ABC12 Main Station