Retired dentists to aid underprivileged at donated clinic

Morgan Building dental clinic (Photo courtesy of Onslow County)

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - The Onslow Community Outreach celebrated the donation of a new dental facility Monday afternoon in Jacksonville.

Onslow County health officials say more than 800 people per year visit local emergency rooms due to dental issues and the hope is to use the new facility - which is set to open in August - to help cut some of those problems off at the root.

"Every year many many people die from tooth infections because they have a brain infection," dentist Virginia Wilson said.

Cost is often a huge deterrent - particularly for those without dental insurance.

"The need for at-risk and vulnerable populations has existed for a long time," Outreach director Theo McClammy said." It is through partnerships and sharing of information that we are able to address this need in a more significant and comprehensive manner than we have previously in this community."

Retired dentists Kenneth and Mary Morgan donated the 3,500-square foot dental clinic on DeWitt Street. The building was named in their honor by the Outreach.

Virginia Wilson and her husband, James, who are also retired dentists, are donating supplies and will volunteer twice a week at the clinic. Right now, they are spending their time getting the building - which has sat vacant for several years - a fresh coat of paint and some refurbishing.

They look forward to the day they can begin taking patients.

"We're wanting to serve those patients who may not have been as lucky as us," Wilson said. "We're trying to give back because it is the right thing to do."