Big smiles were on the faces of patients at a free dental care clinic in New Bern Friday.
Dental patient Cynthia Marlowe says, "The amount of people that's showing up tells you that there is a huge gap in in our health care that's dentistry."
Scott Cashion with the North Carolina Dental Society Foundation says, "Folks really just are in a place sometimes where they're in pain and they're hurting, and they can't afford to get the care, and therefore we want to be there to provide that care for them."
Twice a year the North Carolina Dental Society Foundation pulls together dentists who volunteer to provide free cleanings, fillings, denture work, and tooth replacements.
Cashion says, "What we've seen is there's a need in North Carolina to provide care for folks."
More than 600 patients were expected at the clinic Friday and more than 100 dentists volunteered to make that possible
New Bern was chosen as the location for one of this year's clinics, partially because of Hurricane Florence.
Cashion says, "So New Bern, of course, was hit with the hurricane last year, which displaced folks and maybe even jobs and different kinds of things."
Marlowe says, "Obviously there's a lot of people being blessed today."
The dental clinic continues Saturday at Garber United Methodist Church in New Bern from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.