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Dental marathon aims to help city’s poor
Volunteers needed for Aug. 18-20 clinic
 
Published Thursday, August 4, 2011 9:59 am
by Herbert L. White

Charlotte is taking a bite out of dental disease.

North Carolina Missions of Mercy-Charlotte is sponsoring free treatment for low-income clients Aug. 18-20 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Dentists will work around the clock on Aug. 19-20; Aug. 18 is reserved for prescreening and triage of patients from agencies in advance of treatment.
“We anticipate servicing anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500” clients, said Dr. Michael Stout, co-chair of NCMOM-Charlotte’s volunteer committee. “We’ve got seven shifts or sessions from Friday morning at 7 to 5 o’clock (p.m.) Saturday.”

A healthy mouth improves the chances of overall wellbeing. Research has shown links between dental disease and hypertension, a major malady among African Americans. 

“Studies show periodontal disease is linked to premature birth, stroke and the bacteria that causes periodontal disease causes heart problems,” Stout said.
The clinic, funded by the N.C. Dental Health Fund and corporate donors, provides dental care for indigent clients suffering from urgent needs such as tooth pain or extraction. Since its launch two years ago, 12,000 patients have been treated across North Carolina.

Stout said 800 volunteers are needed, and 300 – including 180 dentists – have signed up as of last week. Data entry professionals, translators, greeters, equipment movers, nurses and hygienists are needed.

For information or to volunteers, call (704) 332-7738 or go to NCMOM-Charlotte’s website.

On the Net:
NCMOM-Charlotte
http://ncmom-charlotte.com

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