WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Mission of Mercy is taking care of smiles, one person at a time. Volunteer dentists, hygienists and assistants gave their time on Friday and Saturday to brighten smiles for many patients.
Patients got fillings or extractions at no cost to them with the help of several donations from professionals who are eager to give back to the community.
Several dentists and hygienists said dental insurance could be financially crippling for people with limited income, and paying out of pocket just adds to that burden.
“Dental care is really important because it can affect your overall health,” Samantha Koch, a WSU dental hygiene student, said. “Getting those problems fixed for these people and helping them live pain-free. It’s just a really cool and awesome thing to be a part of.”
Johnathan Thomas battled the constant pain of a broken tooth for a year and a half because he didn’t have money to pay for dental insurance or out-of-pocket costs. So he’s happy to get rid of the pain that kept him up at night for so long.
“Health care and insurance are not as good as it could be in this country,” Thomas said. “And I’m just glad that they have programs like this to help people because not everyone can afford it.
The dental clinic will be back open at Century II on Saturday at 5:30 a.m. Volunteers helped close to 300 people Friday and expect to see the same numbers.