Volunteers needed for 36-hour dental clinic for needy

08/10/2014 7:06 PM

08/10/2014 7:07 PM

Organizers say they have signed up roughly a third of the volunteers they will need for a round-the-clock dentistry blitzkrieg in September for the needy.

With a goal this year of serving 2,500 adults who need dental care but who cannot afford it, the N.C. Missions of Mercy will open the doors to the Charlotte Convention Center at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 5 and work to provide care day and night for 36 hours. It is the third year for the event in Charlotte.

There is a need for dentists, assistants, hygienists, lab technicians, office personnel and patient escorts for eight-hour shifts during the dental clinic, Dr. Evan Miller, a Charlotte endodontist and clinic co-chairman, said Sunday. About 100 dental chairs will be in operation, he said.

About 900 dental professionals are needed, he said. An additional 200 medical professionals are being sought to do health screenings and other tasks. Five hundred volunteers are needed to provide administrative and support services like helping set up, providing translation services in Spanish and other languages and guiding patients.

There are more than 400 slots for dentists alone, Miller said. In the last two years, about 325 dentists had volunteered and some of them did two sessions to fill out the ranks. They mostly come from the Charlotte region, but some come from a distance, including a group that car pools down from Winston-Salem each year to work the midnight shift.

Miller said the clinic goes round-the-clock to take advantage of the donation of space and time made by the convention center.

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