One-million dollars worth of free dental care is being handed out in Bemidji today and tomorrow.
It's the Minnesota "Mission of Mercy". Free dental care is being given to hundreds of folks at the Sanford Center. Governor, Mark Dayton has even proclaimed this the "Mission of Mercy Day" in Minnesota.
Several hundred people were lined up by the time the doors opened at 5:30 Friday morning. Some had come from as far as St. Paul to the east and North Dakota to the west. Some of these folks began waiting in line at 11 o'clock Thursday night. Many of them have been dealing with dental plain for a long time.
Reporter: "You have some pain?"
John White, Patient: "Oh, yeah."
Reporter: "How long?"
White: "Since October."
Mary Monson, Patient: "I have to have at least 1 cavity filled and 1 tooth pulled."
Reporter: "Do you go to the dentist often?"
Monson: "I can't afford to go to the dentist."
Steve Litton, Mission of Mercy: "That is one of our priorities to share information, to try and convince legislators there is an issue here and more needs to be done than what is being done at this point."
Inside, 300 dental professionals and 800 other volunteers are doing all kinds of procedures, from cleanings, to fillings and even constructing bridge work for patients of all ages.
DDS. Lee Jess, Grand Rapids Dentist: "We're going to help em out and get him healthier. He's going to be a lot better shape when he's done. You know someone told me this "Mission of Mercy" , it's like a miracle in action. It really is. It's one of the best things we can do for people around here."
It's a mission of mercy that's greatly appreciated by many folks who've been suffering from dental pain for a long time.
Kris Lafriniere, Patient: "I consider you guys all angels, even those who are just running around with the clipboards helping out. I think what you guys do is amazing."
The free, dental clinic runs through Saturday from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m..