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Free LA clinic overwhelmed by demand
Updated: 4/28/2010 4:59:59 PM

Free LA clinic overwhelmed by demand Free clinics can be an important way for those without dental insurance to get the care they need, but one such event in Los Angeles is seeing such a demand from people seeking care that organizers are having to turn people away.

Roger Fieldman, a dentist volunteering for the event, told the Los Angeles Times that more than twice as many people came out than were expected, causing organizers to reschedule the appointments of 115 patients.

Fieldman told the paper that demand was so high because of the elimination of Denti-Cal, a part of the state's health program to give adults access to dental care. Fieldman said the move left 3 million people in the state uninsured.

The demand for treatment underscored the problems caused by lack of dental insurance, California first lady Maria Shriver told the Times.

"This is a great day for L.A., but it's also a sobering moment in our state and our country," she said. "You walk through here and you see the need."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that 47 percent of American adults between 18 and 64 years old did not see a dentist in the past year.

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