Around 400 people showed up for the first day of the Iowa Mission of Mercy (Iowa MOM) free dental clinic in Davenport on Friday.
Sioux City dentist, Dick Hettinger, says all the patients are given their dental treatment for free.
“The dentists are all donating their time, the hygienist and assistants and hundreds of lay volunteers are here donating their time. Those lay volunteers are involved in feeding the waiting patients and volunteers. They’re involved in leading the patients through the maze of the clinic so that they don’t get lost and confused,” Hettinger says.
Around 75 people waited outside overnight to get in Friday for the first-come, first-served clinic. Hettinger says he walked out to the line this morning and asked who had come the longest distance and was surprised to find a family from Burma had come to the clinic.
The dental work continues today and Dr. Hettinger expects to have another good day. “We’re having a good time, the patients are having a good time, smiles (are) really the name of the game. We’re fixing smiles and we’re putting smiles on people’s faces because they are just so please to get the problems that they’ve had before taken care of,” Hettinger says.
This is the fifth Mission of Mercy free dental clinic put on in the state and the group estimates some three-point-five-million dollars of free care has been given out to 5,600 patients since they started. Find out more about the event at: www.iowamom.org.