Christine Stuart photo

Connecticut’s Mission of Mercy will be holding its second annual free dental clinic in New Haven the weekend of April 17 and April 18 and organizers expect to serve an estimated 2,000 individuals on a first-come, first serve basis.

The Mission of Mercy’s first free dental clinic was hosted in Tolland last April where volunteers served 1,200 residents from 151 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities.

This year the clinic will be held at New Haven’s Public Field House and the doors will open at 5 a.m. Dr. Robert Schreibman co-chair of the event expects people to start lining up at 6 p.m. the night before the event, like they did last year in Tolland.

The services that will be offered at the clinic include cleanings, cavity fillings, x-rays, root-canals and replacement teeth.

We can’t do this without the help of more than 900 volunteers, Dr. Michael Perl, another co-chair of the event said Wednesday at a Capitol press conference.

Over 900 hygienists, dentists, dental students, pharmacists and physicians from across the state volunteer their time to help those with dental needs, Schreibman said. The volunteer staff will arrive at the clinic at 3:30 a.m. and are more than happy to be there, he said.

Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn said he is proud of those who give up their time for people who are in desperate need of dental care. Williams was in Tolland last year for the first clinic. He said he arrived at 5 a.m. and saw the people line-up who had no other way of getting care in the state of Connecticut. Williams said he looks forward to joining the team of volunteers and patients at next month’s event.

The program is completely funded by the community and grants it receives.

Rep. Pam Sawyer, R-Bolton, is a daughter of a dentist and understands that those without dental care experience pain which ruins the quality of their lives. She said people aren’t eating the right foods, they can’t learn and they can’t think because the pain is all consuming.

Approximately 300 volunteers worked at the clinic last year, and this year the number has more than doubled. 

Schreibman said anyone who comes to the door can be treated.

“We are here to help the public,” he said.