HUTCHINSON — Plans are under way for a two-day free dental clinic in Hutchinson.
The free clinic, scheduled for Jan. 21 and 22 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds, will include more than 500 volunteers and is expected to help about 2,000 people.
Mary Brummett and Steve Wilson, co-chairs of the 2010 Kansas Mission of Mercy dental clinic, met last week with volunteers who will handle duties that include registering patients and determining where dental chairs and other equipment will be placed. Dentists and hygienists from across the state will donate their time to treat patients during the clinic.
"It's sad that in our country dentistry is still a luxury," Brummett said. "We'll see anyone. We ask for no ID. It doesn't matter where you live, income or age."
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She said they needed to raise about $20,000 to help cover costs, including rent for two days on the building.
The project has served 17,000 patients in the state since Kansas Mission of Mercy's first clinic in Garden City in 2003. The program was modeled after similar ones in Virginia and Texas. This will be its first clinic in Hutchinson.
Patients targeted are those in need of urgent dental care, including extractions, fillings and cleanings. They will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Because the waits are expected to be long, volunteers will also serve breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. An interpreter will be on hand to help patients who don't speak English.
"Our objective is to serve our community," Wilson said.