UPDATE: More than 300 dental procedures performed at free clinic - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: More than 300 dental procedures performed at free clinic

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UPDATE: The numbers are in and local doctors helped hundreds of people in this weekend's "Impact Your Health"  clinic.

More than two thousand people received free health care at the clinic.

Doctors provided everything from diabetes checks and blood pressure screenings to eye exams. A total of 477 prescription eyeglasses were promised.

Dentists performed 363 procedures and almost half of those specifically involved oral surgery. That includes 167 extractions and 78 fillings.

The health clinic also provided almost 500 prescription glasses for those in need.

UPDATE: In a weekend where free services in optometry, podiatry, general health, and others areas, were provided to more than 1,700 people over the 18-plus hours at the Chattanooga convention center, many were turned away on Sunday. "We had more people come for dental than we can handle," said Phyllis Smith of Impact Your Health Chattanooga.

"It's very stressful," Smith explained. "We've been working all day to see, 'can we get two more in? Can we got five more in?'" Organizers say many of those who showed up had not received professional care for some time and needed complex, time intensive dental procedures.

When providers reached their limits, emotions flared. Anthony McKeef says he called and was promised new teeth and hearing aids. "I was down here before the sun come up," he explained. "It didn't happen. But, I can say I got a real good massage in there, you know? But, what is the good of a massage when you still can't hear?"

Lines had reportedly formed at the convention center as early as 3AM. "When we came here this morning," said Danny Kwon, Executive Director of Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, "there was probably 300+ people in line and yesterday, even with the rain, it was probably 300+ people in line."

Some who were left out on Sunday said others had jumped lines. "They should have been more organized with getting people in," Ashley Hill related. She had was turned away for a dental procedure. "I understand they're trying to help," she added. "They may have helped a lot of people, but there was a lot of people that had to go home, yesterday and today."

Kwon said they would try to help as many as they could. "We talked to providers," he said. "They are here to serve. So, even if they have to stay late, we're going to try to see everyone still left in line today."

Organizers said they referred some of those seeking dental procedures to the Dodson Avenue Community Health Center which is connected with Erlanger Medical Center.

Impact Your Health Chattanooga will hold a free healthcare clinic in Chattanooga Saturday, October 3 (10:00am - 6:00pm) and Sunday, October 4 (8:00am - 6:00pm).

The clinic will be at the Chattanooga Convention Center  at 1150 Carter St , Chattanooga, TN.

The two day event is expected to provide free healthcare to about 2,000 people.   

Among the free services offered will be:

  • Blood sugar/diabetes checks (you must fast 8 hours prior)
  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Cancer/melanoma screenings
  • Eye exam
  • Glasses
  • Dental cleanings, filings extractions, root canals and crowns

MORE INFORMATION | Impact Your Health Chattanooga website

Organizers encourage you to arrive early. 

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