CDA Cares Free Dental Clinic this weekend

Local dentist are joining the effort to help those people get free dental care.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of people attended a free dental event in Downtown Fresno Friday.

Some lined up for hours and spent the night outside for a chance at the free services.

Some even came overnight and waited for hours, including Kay Harris and her family.

"So we left the house last night at 11:30 and we got here. I didn't mind waiting behind a couple hundred of those people in front of me. Free free free. And I took it and ran with it. I'm here now," said Harris.

Harris came with her three-year-old granddaughter and daughter to the California Dental Association's free dental event.

Fresno orthodontist, Doctor Cory Costanzo, helped organize the event.

"It feels great to see this in action. We've converted the convention center into the biggest dental clinic that Fresno has ever seen," stated Doctor Costanzo.

Patients at the event received a variety of services from teeth cleanings to dentures to extractions.

Some patients say they couldn't wait to get rid of tooth pain.

Aaron Calloni of Fresno said, "Its the worst pain you can have. It hurts really bad, so that's why I came out."

The Dental Association says about 30 percent of Californians face challenges when it comes to getting dental care.

"Reimbursements for Denti-Cal and Medical are the lowest in the country, so if the state wants to make a commitment to improve access to care they need to make a commitment to reimbursement," explained Doctor George Maranon an oral surgeon.

As for Kay Harris, she says limited and even a lack of insurance has kept her and her family from seeing the dentist for a long time, but this event made going to the dentist a blessing.

"There's nothing free anymore these days. So I'm obliged to have this done for me," said Harris.

The event will continue on Saturday. Doors open at 5:30am and about 1,000 people will receive services.

Organizers hope to bring more smiles to people in the Central Valley.

CDA Cares Free Dental Clinic
Fresno Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 1-3.
Friday, October 2, 2015
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis with a goal of providing care to approximately 2,000 people during the two-day clinic.
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