Hundreds receive free dental care in Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Hundreds of folks without dental insurance received free care Saturday thanks to a gymnasium full of dedicated volunteers.

Atlantic Dental Care worked in partnership with the Virginia Dental Association, VDA Foundation, and the VCU School of Dentistry to bring a third Mission of Mercy Project to Hampton Roads.

The one-day event at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth featured access to medical and dental triage, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and other procedures to adults on a first-come, first-served basis.

"This really helps those people that are uninsured or underserved, that don't have a dental home. There's a lot of people who have toothaches and have to go to the emergency room, so we're trying to help avoid that also," Vicki Brett with the free clinic told News 3 on Saturday.

The need in the region is great. More than 47% of people in Virginia lack dental insurance and organizers say as a result, thousands of underserved people suffer pain, discomfort, and embarrassment because they cannot afford or find appropriate oral health are.

Between 500 and 600 people were expected to receive care during the event.