Thousands line up for free dental care - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Thousands line up for free dental care

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Thousands of people spent the night waiting for free dental care in the heart of the Center City.

"I'm going to be ashamed..." said Hickory resident Christina Snow.  "I'll get my teeth pulled because I've got one front one that I've got to get fixed, and when I smile...it ain't going to be pretty no more."

Snow is due for some serious dental work.  She is having eight teeth pulled, and she waiting at least twelve hours to do it.

She is one of thousands of people who camped out overnight for the free dental clinic being held starting Friday morning at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Just after midnight, there were already close to 900 people who showed up.

The line was capped at 2,000 patients, so if you are not already there, don't even bother showing up.

Things are running much more smoothly than last year.  In 2011, organizers had people wait outside until the 6am start time, and that caused a lot of people to walk away unhappy.

Many were also turned away.

This year, people were issued numbered wristbands.  That meant they could come and go as they please, as long as they were there when the event kicked off.

Volunteers will be working 36 hours straight checking for cavities and extracting teeth.  This is the second time the free dental clinic was held in the Queen City.

There are some guidelines people have to qualify for.  Participants have to come in 200 percent below the Federal poverty standards.  That means a family of two can't make more than $562 a week.

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