The previous clinics in Surgoinsville and Hancock County have already served 103 people, translating to about $25,000 worth of dental work.
Operation Good Neighbor program director Mickey Wilcox will begin taking appointments for next month’s event beginning Monday, Sept. 24.
Wilcox said Thursday he doesn’t know yet how many patients will be seen, but when the appointment openings are filled, he plans on compiling a waiting list because there are always cancellations and no-shows.
“They (the dentist volunteers) haven’t sent me their appointment schedule yet to tell me how many openings they have, but it depends on whether they have one or two dentists,” Wilcox said. “If they have one dentist, we’ll see about 30-35 people, and if we have two (dentists) we’ll probably get close to 60.”
Wilcox noted that the goal of the free dental program is to serve rural communities, which is why Surgoinsville and Hancock County were chosen earlier this year, and why Mooresburg will likely be chosen for the October event.
Anyone interested in seeing a dentist on Oct. 12 or 13 should call Wilcox at (423) 523-4712 beginning Sept. 24 to schedule an appointment.
“We’ll actually book more than we’ll be able to see because, believe it or not, we have a number of people who will call me a couple of weeks out from the dental clinic, and when we call back to confirm, they’ve changed their mind,” Wilcox said. “We’ll book all the appointments and I’ll have the waiting list. And we’ll call them when other people cancel.”
The team coming in October will be doing only X-rays and extractions. Last year’s three dental clinics hosted by Of One Accord served 150 people.
For 30 years, the ministry has been serving the people of Hawkins and Hancock counties with many programs including emergency home repairs, emergency food, free dental clinics, a free medical clinic, a drug rehab facility, clothing, personal hygiene items, baby items, hot meals for homebound seniors and more.