Last year's Mission of Mercy Dental Outreach served nearly 1,000 patients, providing them with more than $400,000 in dental care at no cost. Photo courtesy of the Eblen Charities.

From Eblen Charities, shared June 13:

Last year’s Mission of Mercy Dental Outreach in Asheville served nearly 1,000 patients, providing them with more than $400,000 in dental care at no cost. Photo courtesy of the Eblen Charities.

Lining up as early as 6 p.m. and eagerly waiting for as long as 15 hours, hundreds of people arrived at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College last August to receive dental care that had been out of reach for them for so long.

The inaugural Asheville Mission of Mercy Dental Outreach served nearly 1,000 patients, providing dental X-rays, extractions, fillings, restorative care, cleanings, with more than $400,000 worth of dental care being provided at no cost during the three-day clinic.

A-B Tech opened their campus for this groundbreaking event that proved to be one of the largest dental outreach(es) of its kind in North Carolina history. They also provided the use of their gym for the main clinic of 40 dental chairs, and opened their dental clinic with an additional 16 chairs giving their dental students the opportunity to join the outreach of kindness. Thanks to Dr. Jack Teague and nearly 50 dentists and more than 300 volunteers that came from our community and from across the state to give much needed dental care to so many that were in need.

On Thursday, Aug. 4 through Saturday, Aug. 6, Dr. Teague, the North Carolina Dental Society, and the Eblen Charities is once again bringing together the dental community, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and scores of volunteers to provide free dental care to hundreds of families in our area that otherwise they would not be able to afford.

Initial exams will be offered at the A-B Tech Dental Clinic on Thursday, Aug. 4, with the actual procedures beginning on Friday, Aug. 5 and continuing Saturday, Aug. 6.The clinic will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days on a first-come first-serve basis.

“This is again a wonderful opportunity for our community and for our area dentists who show their care and concern for those who are underserved. The Mission of Mercy Project not only brings attention to the access to care issue but also provides actual care to so many in need. This week we are looking to provide upwards to a half million dollars in free dental care thanks to everyone who are joining us in this endeavor,” states Dr. Teague.

“We are grateful to everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this outreach a reality. I am especially encouraged by the various nonprofits joining us including our partnership with Eblen Charities and the lead role they have taken,” Dr. Teague continued. “As a member of the board of directors of the Eblen Charities, I have always been proud that Eblen has always been at the forefront of helping those in need in our community. From providing shoes, medication, glasses, utility assistance, and housing to fixing teeth, there is nothing that the Eblen Charities isn’t willing to do to help others by rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty. Eblen has always displayed a willingness to be proactive in providing assistance in our community.”

Since its founding in 2003 through the end of 2009, the North Carolina Missions of Mercy program has held more than 76 two-day clinics across North Carolina from Murphy to Kill Devil Hills. Although the NCMOM primarily limits its clinics to helping citizens of North Carolina, it participated in a large 65-chair clinic in New Orleans during February 2006 in partnership with the American Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Association, the Remote Area Medical of Knoxville, the Louisiana State Dental Association, and the LSU School of Dentistry. During this week-long clinic free dental treatment was provided to over 3,600 needy individuals and hurricane victims of that area.

For more information or to volunteer at this week’s Mission of Mercy outreach at A-B Tech, please call (877-) 537-3783 or visit their website at

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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  1. Having participated several time in the past I can personally say that this is an extremely rewarding experience for the whole dental team, not to mention the huge benefit and goodwill for the patients. Even just a morning or afternoon participation is most appreciated.