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Hundreds of metro Phoenix dentists will be offering their services to low-income patients for free this weekend.

The Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation is hosting its first Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.

The emphasis will be on relieving pain and infections to those who otherwise can't get dental care. Glendale dentist Mark Hughes said a lot of low income Arizonans need help.

"The state has taken away the adult emergency dental benefit from a lot of people who were on AHCCCS," Hughes said. "They don't have the ability to go to a dentist as much as they could."

But they'll have plenty of opportunity to get treated at this event.

"There's going to be about 300 dentists involved, of all different specialties, and about 1,500 volunteers altogether," said Hughes.

Hughes suggested getting there early. "We're opening the doors on basically a first come-first served basis, and we're hoping to treat about 1,000 people each day."

That amounts to about $1 million in dental treatments.

Among the procedures The dentists will be doing a lot of things. "We'll be doing mostly fillings and some extractions," said Hughes. "If some of the people need root canals and things on front teeth, we can do that."

The Foundation said in a press release that "Adults and children of all ages who don't have medically conditions, such as extremely high blood pressure or severe disabilities, are welcome."

KTAR Newsroom,

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