People started lining up on Thursday for free dental care being offered in Hartford Friday morning.
Channel 3 is a proud partner in the Connecticut Mission of Mercy two-day event.
The Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach (CFDO) facilitates the free dental care event for those in need. Dozens of people braved the chilly Thursday night to get the free care.
Volunteers brought food and blankets to those who braved the cooler temperatures.
The XL Center is expected to be packed for most of the day.
The first man in line got to the XL Center at 3 p.m. on Thursday and while he is a little cold, his teeth need help.
"I ended up biting on a kernel and the tooth just came loose," said George Sharrow of Bloomfield.
Organizers of the clinic said they know people are willing to wait for hours to get the free work done.
"They're willing to put up with staying overnight, and there were some pretty cool temperatures overnight," said organizer Dr. Jonathan Knapp.
The 9th annual Mission of Mercy Clinic begins at 6 a.m. at the XL Center in Hartford on Friday, Sept. 16. Doors open again on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 6 a.m. Services are given on a first come first serve basis.
Line around the corner for this weekends amazingly charitable free dental clinic. pic.twitter.com/nndo58XKol— D/C Foley (@LtFoley) September 16, 2016
This year marks only the second time the event has been in the capital city.
"The idea is to be here every two years, but we’re going to need a lot of help from the state and a lot of help from the corporations to help us fund this,” said Bruce Tandy, co-chair of the Mission of Mercy.
Sponsors, like Channel 3, help with supplies and getting big venues for the clinic.
The following services are available:
Frank Green was among the first in line. He thought he needed his wisdom teeth pulled. However, he received some better news once he got into the chair.
"[It feels] pretty awesome," he said.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin stopped by to meet some of the dozens of dentists and scores of volunteers and patients.
"We’ve had folks waiting in line since 3:00 [Thursday] afternoon," he said. "And I think that is a sign of how important this service is, but it’s also a sign of how great the need is.”
In 2015, the event served 1,997 patients and the last time the event was held at the XL Center in 2014, there was $1,578,062 in free oral health care provided to 2,295 patients.
This week's event will feature 146 dental chairs and more than 1,300 volunteers.
For more information, click here or by calling 1-800-688-9372.
To see photos on your mobile device, click here.
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