Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Rhythm and Roots Festival
3 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. Charlestown

Yoga for Beginners
4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Charlestown

Cruise Night
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Ashaway

Art Opening
5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Westerly

Surfside 8 Square Dance
8 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Westerly

"The Unexpected Guest"
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. Westerly

Misquamicut Drive-In Movie
8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Misquamicut

... View all of today's events


Stay Connected




Dentists and hygienists perform work on patients at the free Mission of Mercy dental clinic held at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., Friday, April 25, 2014. More than 2,200 people were expected to receive treatment during the two-day event. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
Dr. Ben Schultz, of Fairfield, Conn. and dental assistant Danielle Alber of Norwalk, Conn. perform a root canal on Anthony Tassner of New Britain, Conn., at the free Mission of Mercy dental clinic held at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., Friday, April 25, 2014. More than 2,200 people were expected to receive treatment during the two-day event. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb) Natalie Somley, of Monroe, Conn., takes a look at her new crown before having it installed at the free Mission of Mercy dental clinic held at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., Friday, April 25, 2014. More than 2,200 people were expected to receive treatment during the two-day event. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)

Free treatment from dentists draws a crowd


HARTFORD (AP) — Natalie Somley of Monroe had a cracked tooth and no dental insurance. The 48-year old stay-at-home mom was faced with options that included enduring the pain, or trying to find money to pay for the needed dental work.

Then she read about the Connecticut Mission of Mercy dental clinic. Somley drove 55 miles to Hartford on Friday to join hundreds of others inside the XL Center who otherwise would not have access to dental care.

“It weighs on you,” she said, while waiting to have a crown put on her tooth. “You have to decide what to do. And when it comes to your mouth, you can’t just let it go. You’ve got to get it taken care of. Things like these are so beneficial.”

Somley was one of more than 2,200 people who were expected to be treated at the two-day clinic.

Patients began lining up Thursday morning in anticipation of Friday’s 6 a.m. opening. The clinic admits the first 1,200 people in line each day. It will run through this evening.

It’s the seventh annual clinic put on by the Mission of Mercy, but the first to be held in the capital city. Last year’s event in Bridgeport provided $1.3 million in dental work to 2,125 people from 140 different communities.

Organizers expect a similar turnout this year. About 1,600 volunteers, including more than 250 dentists are volunteering their time.

“It does work to bring out the issue to the policy makers and show them there is a need here,” said Dr. Bruce Tandy, a Vernon dentist who helped organize the event. “In the Affordable Care Act, there is really no provision for adult dental care. We’re one of the few states that do have some provisions for adults on Medicaid, but the reimbursement rate is so low that there are not a lot of providers that are able to do that and run their offices.”

This year the clinic set up a special section for pregnant patients, including a separate line that would allow them to be seen sooner.



Back to State
Top Stories of the Week

Charlestown man facing drug, firearm charges …
CHARLESTOWN — State police have arrested a 32-year-old man on numerous drug and firearm charges after he allegedly was involved in high density drug trafficking … more ...

Abandoned cabin cruiser destroyed in Napatree Point fire, cause considered …
WESTERLY — A 38-foot cabin cruiser left at Napatree Point since running aground in July has been destroyed after an early morning fire Tuesday. Watch … more ...

I-95 re-opened after morning truck crash …
N. STONINGTON — Both lanes of Interstate 95 have been reopened following the crash of a heavy duty tow truck earlier this morning near Exit … more ...

Hiker forced to flee coyote; 5 found …
HOPKINTON — A Westerly resident hiking on a trail near North Road in Hopkinton on Wednesday had a frightening experience when she and her dog … more ...

Stonington teen convicted in private school assault …
A 19-year-old Stonington resident and former student of the St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., has been found guilty in New Hampshire of assault after … more ...

Comments