PORTLAND - More than 2,000 people from the Northwest are thankful this week for something you might not expect - a trip to the dentist. Dentists and hygienists volunteered their time for a charity clinic this week in Portland.
There are plenty of reasons that people avoid going to the dentist. Like not having to hear this noise — a drill.
But thousands of people here spent hours in line just for a chance to hear a dentist’s drill -– often for the first time in years. Peggy Grimler caught a ride 200 miles to get here and camped out overnight.
“I don’t dream about going on vacation or buying a new car or anything,” she says. “I dream about having teeth. And being able to smile at people.”
The Oregon Dental Association organized it’s second annual Mission of Mercy dental clinic at the Oregon Convention Center. At hundreds of chairs sprawled across the wide hall, volunteers provided free fillings, root canals, extractions, even partial dentures.
The clinic was set up with the very poor in mind. But event chair Jill Price says,”We also are seeing a wide range of employed people, but maybe minimum wage workers that don’t carry dental insurance, people that are working but maybe only part time.”
As this Mission of Mercy event wrapped up in Portland, organizers were already planning a third coming to Medford in fall of 2012.
On the Web:
Oregon Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy:
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