Large free dental clinic serves 1,700 in 6 hours
Service exceeding organizers expectations
A free dental clinic at the Alliant Energy Center has served 1,700 people in just its first six hours, according to organizers.
The Wisconsin Dental Association and its Mission of Mercy are hosting the event Friday and Saturday to serve the thousands of people without dental insurance.
Dentists have volunteered to provide free services to children and low-income adults. Organizers had hoped to help more than 1,500 people each day but early numbers far exceed estimates.
Organizers said this will be the largest free dental clinic in the United States.
"We think the Madison area has enough patients that need the care, so volunteers are helping as many patients as we can. It's first come, first serve. We encourage people to come out and get the treatment they want," said Dr. Gene Shoemaker, who is the co-chairman of Mission of Mercy.
The clinic started Friday at 5:30 a.m. and run through Saturday. People started to line up Thursday morning.
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