NCDS Newsroom

FOX Wilmington: Hundreds line up for free mobile dental clinic near Independence Mall

Dr. Bob Plage explains the free services offered at the Wilmington MOM Clinic as well as the number of patients the clinic will serve over the weekend.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The costs of dental care are becoming more difficult to grin and bear.

“Like medicine, dentistry hasn’t gotten any cheaper,” retired dentist and volunteer Bob Plage said.

The national average price of a dental cleaning is estimated to be at least $100. It’s a price many can’t afford. That’s why Missions of Mercy held its free mobile dental clinic in Wilmington on Friday. It is expected to continue Saturday, Nov. 4.

The adult clinic provides complementary dental procedures for adults who can’t afford it or don’t have access to dental health care. Procedures include cleanings, fillings and instructions based on examinations and x-rays.

Lines were out the door even at the starting time of 6 a.m. on Friday.

“We’ll probably see close to 600 to 700 patients this weekend and do $500,000 in dental work,” Plage said.

Plage said demand has grown since the last free dental clinic in 2013. Patients said the experience was invaluable.

“I think this is a wonderful idea. This is branching out meeting people all over, especially people like me in the program at the Healing Place who are sober,” patient Scott Marino said.

The clinic is held at the First Baptist Church Activities Center, but patients are asked to park in the Independence Mall parking lot. People will be bused from the mall parking lot to the clinic.

Patients are treated on a first-come, first-served basis at 6 a.m. on each day, and the organizers recommend arriving early because of the high expected turnout. Plage said even though the lines may be long, it’s worth the wait.

“So many people don’t have any other alternatives to get dental work,” Plage said. “You have a toothache, you need some teeth out, this is the place to come this weekend.”

The event is presented by the N.C. Dental Society Foundation and you can learn more online here.

Procedures may include cleanings, fillings, and instructions based on examinations and x-rays.

Source: Fox Wilmington