SAGINAW (CBS Detroit)  – Are you proud to flash those pearly whites? If your teeth could use some work — but you’re too tight on cash — this two-day event is for you.

Hundreds of Michigan Dental Association dentists and hygienists from across the state are offering free services to those who need it, at Saginaw Valley State University, this Friday and Saturday.

This is the first Mission of Mercy event that will help up to 2,000 uninsured or underinsured Michigan residents receive dental care.

Event Director Tom Kochheiser says high costs often keep people from getting proper dental care — but the consequences of unhealthy teeth can be serious in the longterm.

“It affects their self esteem, you know, often employment opportunities, and overall health,” Kochheiser said. “So, we want to provide the care to people who, for various reasons, haven’t been able to access dental care.

‘”But, secondly, we also really want to call attention to policy makers and decision makers in Lansing that state programs need to be properly funded,”  Kochheiser said.

The event runs Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8 beginning each day at 6 a.m. at  Ryder Center, Saginaw Valley State University, located at 7400 Bay Rd, Saginaw, MI 48604.  Patients will be seen starting at 6:15 a.m. until the clinic has reached capacity both days.

Depending on the need, services may include cleanings, fillings, tooth removal (extractions), a limited number of root canals and treatment partials to replace front teeth. This clinic will not provide caps, crowns, partial dentures, complete dentures, implants, bridges or orthodontics.

Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those in pain and with infections will be top priority.

[Can’t make it? Find another upcoming free clinic near you at this link.]

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