Free dental clinic offers residents a chance at a new smile

(Photo: Nicole Griffin)

NEW BERN, Craven County - Hundreds of ENC residents are taking advantage of a free dental clinic happening this week in New Bern.

The dental clinic, located at the Epiphany School for Global Studies, is open on October 27 and 28 to provide life-changing services at no cost to patients.

"So many patients walk around for months and months with toothaches just because they can't afford to get their teeth fixed, so when we show up its a big relief for them," Jennifer Kowalski from Bridgeton said. "I love that this came here, believe me -- we can't afford a dentist with me at our house."

Kowalski waited since 3 a.m. to see a dentist because of a bad tooth. Once she was in the dentist's chair, they were able to remove two bad teeth. She said the procedure was something she couldn't have afforded on her own.

"There's no way -- we were were one of those families that fall through the cracks in Obamacare. If you fall through the crack in one there is no way you can afford the other," Kowalski said. "Can't get Medicaid, get Obamacare -- you're stuck. If you cant afford to get your regular medicine, how can you afford to get dentistry?"

Kowalski is one of the many able to walk away with a brand new smile today. The first meal she plans on eating with her new teeth is a steak.

"I can actually eat on either side now instead of just here in the front," Kowalski said. "Have you tried chewing steak with just the front teeth? I mean that's hard!"

The clinic opens again on October 28 at 6 a.m and remains open until 5 p.m. If you are at 200 percent below the poverty line, you have the chance to get your teeth done by a medical professional at the clinic.

If you can't get to the clinic this weekend, the next one will be in Fayetteville in 2018.

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