Crowds gather for Mission of Mercy

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) Update: Feb. 9 5 a.m.

Volunteer dentists and hygienists from across the state will provide millions of dollars worth of dental work this weekend at the fair grounds.

Thousands of patients will be treated this year at the clinic for free. It's something that's been going on for about 17 years now.

"Doing a mission of mercy project and doing this clinic is something that we as the dentists in the state and the Kansas Dental Association want to help out however we can and try to put a dent in the needs of the people in the state," says Brett Roufs.

Services here are first come first serve, so patients started lining up as early as Thursday afternoon.

Organizers closed the doors on Friday morning after the clinic reach it's max capacity. Patients will have to come Saturday when it reopens at 4:30 a.m.

Some of the services dental specialists are providing include extractions and fillings.

Patients here will fill out a form about their health history, then be examined and treated for their greatest need.

Dentists here say the two volunteer days out here are long but it's worth it to help.

Despite the wait, patients we spoke to say they're so thankful they can come to this clinic every year.

If you haven't seen the dentist in a while, a clinic at the end of the week can change that.

The Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation (KDCF) will host the 2018 Kansas Mission of Mercy (KMOM) Friday and Saturday at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson.

The clinic opens at 4:30 a.m.

KMOM is a first-come-first-serve event and all patients have to wait in line. KDCF says it will treat approximately 700 each day and standing in line on Friday does not give a patient priority on Saturday.

"Be prepared to wait and potentially be there all day. We let approximately 700 patients in the clinic so it may be mid-afternoon before a patient is treated," said the organization.

No dental records or proof of income are needed.