Mission of Mercy dental clinic kicks off in New Haven - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Mission of Mercy dental clinic kicks off in New Haven

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Volunteers expect roughly 2,000 patients for this year's Mission of Mercy in New Haven. (WFSB photo) Volunteers expect roughly 2,000 patients for this year's Mission of Mercy in New Haven. (WFSB photo)
Lines formed overnight for the 2017 Connecticut Mission of Mercy in New Haven. (WFSB photo) Lines formed overnight for the 2017 Connecticut Mission of Mercy in New Haven. (WFSB photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A free dental clinic aimed at providing those in need with free dental care kicked off in New Haven on Friday.

The Connecticut Mission of Mercy is a two-day clinic that provides x-rays, cleanings and other dental services to the underserved and uninsured in the state.

Lines began forming at the Floyd Athletic Center overnight. The center is located on Sherman Parkway.

Doors opened at 6 a.m.

Hundreds of people arrived to get care.

"It's a sharp tooth," said Ed Cedor, Sandy Hook. "It's been cutting my tongue for a long time."

Cedor, a veteran, said he had x-rays taken and got his tooth treated.

As of 7:45 a.m. on Friday, organizers told Eyewitness News that the clinic was only about half full. It urged people to stop by for a good chance at getting a spot in line.

Since the doors opened, they said they've been busy.

It is first-come, first-served.

It runs through Friday afternoon and continues on Saturday.

It doesn't matter what language patients speak. Interpreters are on hand.

Caitlyn Mairs of Manchester Community College, an aspiring hygienist, said she was thrilled to give back while sharpening her skills.

"It's a great experience for me getting to work with different patients and seeing what it's all about," Mairs said.

After 41 years as a Manchester dentist, Robert Fish said he moved to Florida. However, he came back to give back.

"Everybody working here gets more than the patients," Fish said.

More than 1,300 volunteers are making it happen.

Organizers said more than 2,000 people were treated at the event last year when it was at the XL Center in Hartford.

This year's event marks its 10th year.

Eyewitness News is a proud sponsor.

For more information, head to the CTMOM website here.

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