Pop-up dental clinic fills void in care

Pop-up dental clinic in Augusta expected to serve more than 2,000 people. Dozens of dentists from Atlanta will perform free dental care over two days starting Friday.

More than 2,000 people in need of dental care will get it this weekend - free of charge.

Dentists from Atlanta will perform cleanings, fillings and extractions for the annual Mission of Mercy that kicks off Friday.

The clinic was started four years ago as way to ensure low-or-no income people had access to dental hygiene, and is sponsored by the Georgia Dental Association and its Foundation for Oral Health.

"Mainly we try to get them comfortable, out of pain or clean," said Dr. Robin Reich of the Reich Dental Center. Reich is one of the founders and organizers of the event, and said it takes about 1,300 volunteers to pull it off. Doors will open at 5 a.m. for the two-day event held at the James Brown Arena in Augusta.

Reich said part of the mission is to educate people about the importance of dental hygiene and to make sure people have access to it.

"An infection in your mouth doesn't stay, or inflammation doesn't stay just in your mouth. It's systemic, it goes everywhere. So absolutely part of what we're trying to do is educate people about that. The importance of it," she said. "It's really valuable to do those types of treatments early, early and to understand a healthy mouth, healthy you."

Each year, the clinic rotates locations throughout Georgia and relies on donations to provide care. According to its GoFundMe page, the clinic is just short $10,000 for this year’s event. If you’re interested in donating your time or money, click here.

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