Eight dentists, a team of hygienists and a lineup of support staffers are gearing up to provide free dental care for uninsured patients today at the Douglas County Dental Clinic, 316 Maine.
The professionals are volunteering their time, expertise and supplies to help up to 60 people during the first-come, first-served event.
Screenings will start at 7 a.m., and the clinic will run through 4 p.m., said Nikki King, executive director of Health Care Access, which is co-sponsoring the event. The clinic normally is open only until noon Fridays.
"This is huge," said King, whose own clinic will be closed for the day. "We're expecting hundreds of people to line up and be one of the first 60 people seen. At our clinic alone, where we see about 2,000 people a year, the majority need dental care and they can't afford it."
The dental clinic's two staff dentists - Cheryl Biesterfeld and Kelly Farmer - will be joined by six others serving as volunteers: Galen Van Blaricum, John Hay and Ed Manda, who are former board members for Health Care Access; and Chris Leiszler, Bryce McCreary and Les Miller.