American dentists have been leading the way in offering free dentistry to local citizens as a way of encouraging them to visit regularly, and to help those who struggle to pay for treatment.
The latest dental clinic to open its doors for free is one based in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
This free dentistry weekend – Friday to Sunday – was organised by the North Carolina Missions of Mercy which arranges for 6 clinic visits per year in the US state.
Since the charity started this campaign in 2004, over $22 million worth of much needed dental treatment has been given free to patients in North Carolina.
This weekend’s cost is said to be in the region of $500,000.
Speaking with reporters, Bill Blaylock, director of North Carolina Missions of Mercy, said it was important to try and ensure people get some form of dental treatment, especially since the economy in the US is still fragile.
He added that people who lose their jobs also sometimes can’t afford to pay for dental care.
Offering free dental treatment, even just once per year, is an important contributor for cutting down on costs of general health as well as oral health.
It is now well known that ensuring good dental hygiene can stave off more serious illnesses. Oral examinations are also useful to check for the onset of diseases such as heart disease.
Interestingly, events like this draw people from far and wide as well as the local vicinity. Hundreds of people apparently camp overnight just so they can get free dental treatment.
For the dentists themselves, they also feel they are giving back something to their local community.