Rock Hill free dental clinic seeks volunteers

Hundreds of people are going to turn up at Rock Hill’s First Baptist Church next month to receive free dental care.

But receiving that care – whether it be a filling or a root canal or anything else – is only going to be possible if enough people in the community step up to make it happen, said Dale Dove, a Rock Hill lawyer and an organizer of Dental Access Days on Aug. 8-9.

The South Carolina Dental Association supplies all the dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. Local organizers must recruit more than 800 volunteers –110 for each of the four shifts per day planned over the course of the event.

“It’s fast and furious for two whole days,” Dove said.

Volunteers will work long hours with little to no breaks, Dove said, but the mood will be festive and intense. People also are needed to set up and tear down all the equipment before and after the clinic is open.

About 150 volunteers are still needed, said Jenny Overman, spokeswoman for Renew Our Community, one of the groups helping with the clinic.

“It would be a crying shame if we didn’t have enough volunteers for this,” Dove said.

Events like the free dental clinic are vital to the community, Dove said, because dental care is health care, but many people can’t afford it. By hosting this event for the people of York, Chester and Lancaster counties, he said, the community is stepping up and taking responsibility for its own people who desperately need this care.