By: Christine Souders, firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you put off going to the dentist because it's too expensive? That's exactly what a lot of Quad Citians are forced to do, but many of them are about to get some much needed care.
Iowa's second largest free dental clinic opens Friday morning at the RiverCenter in Davenport. Folks said they are willing to grin and bear it, because it's the only way they can get much needed dental work.
"I'm going to sit outside for 14 hours and waiting to be blessed," said Barbara Holst and her family are first in line. She said it's hard to express just how important this clinic actually is, "It's not just about having the service. It's what's afterwards too. I'll be able to smile this year."
Barbara needs a good cleaning and her front tooth pulled. She's just one of many who can't afford the proper care.
"If you got bad teeth, you can also have heart problems, blood pressure, all kinds of stuff," said Michael Rentfro.
Nearly 200 hundred doctors, and 1,200 volunteers will be working the next two days to help those who need it most.
"It's a chance to just come out and use our skills for some people who really need it a lot. It's very rewarding as a professional to be involved in this," said Dr. Kyle Gagliaro.
This is the 5th year Mission of Mercy is holding the free clinic, run entirely on donations. Doctors said everyone is welcome regardless of finances or insurance.
"Anyone we can get inside will be able to get their treatment done, but chances are if we have a long line at some point we'll have to say you folks will have to back tomorrow," said Dr. Gagliaro.
Hotel Blackhawk donated 5 gallons of soup for people camping outside the RiverCenter. The clinic will be open Friday and Saturday. It goes from 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mission of Mercy is expecting a couple thousand people.