Free dental care in Phoenix on Dec. 8 & 9

Posted: Updated:
About 1,700 volunteers plan to do dental work for free for thousands in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) About 1,700 volunteers plan to do dental work for free for thousands in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
People will get care on a first-come, first served basis with the event starting at 6 a.m. on both days. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) People will get care on a first-come, first served basis with the event starting at 6 a.m. on both days. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AZMOMs is looking for more dentists to help out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) AZMOMs is looking for more dentists to help out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hundreds of volunteers plan to give back to the community and make thousands of smiles a little brighter.

The Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation (CADSF) said it will host its sixth annual Dental Mission of Mercy (AZMOMs) event at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds Dec. 8 and 9.

Roughly 1,700 dentists, hygienists, lab technicians, assistants and others will volunteer their time to give dental care to more than 2,000 people. It is estimated the value of the free care will be around $2 million.

People will get care on a first-come, first served basis with the event starting at 6 a.m. on both days. In previous years, some have even stood in line for hours beforehand to make sure they get care. It will end at 6 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m on Saturday or until resources run out.

The group said volunteers will use 100 portable dental units to help people with relieving pain and infection from their teeth and mouths. Dental services like fillings, extractions, cleanings and limited lab work will be provided free of charge to patients of all ages.

The event started because in 2010 the state Legislature did away with the adult emergency dental benefit for AHCCCS.

"Dental should be covered because first off, a lot of people start doing opioids because their teeth hurt. And that's just a small part of it. Bone pain affects so many lives, the quality of life is a lot lower when your mouth hurts," said Ziggy Zimmerman, as he waited in line. 

“There are too many people that fall through the cracks that are struggling with day to day life and need help,” shared Dr. Jacqueline Allen, a Phoenix endodontist, founding board member and current CADS Foundation board president. “Having proper dental health gives people a chance to focus on things other than pain or infection, helps them to better access potential jobs which in turn takes the burden off our emergency health care system that individuals use to relieve pain and infection if they can’t access dental care.”

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.