Free dental clinic for uninsured patients won’t be held this year

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — A free clinic offering dental care for those in need won’t be held this year, the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation announced Sunday.

Held annually since 2012 at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Flanagan Campus in Lincoln, the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy has provided thousands of uninsured and underinsured patients with cleanings, x-rays, tooth extractions and other dental work.

Dozens of dental, medical and community volunteers donated their time each year.

The school said it’s no longer able to meet the facility and staff requirements needed to continue hosting the clinic, according to the RIOHF, so the organization was forced to cancel the event.

CCRI President Meghan Hughes defended the decision on WPRI 12’s Newsmakers last week, and said the school would still like to find a way to support the clinic.

Organizers said they hope to find a new venue so they can bring the clinic back next year.