Free dental clinic serves almost 2,000 people

Almost 2,000 people received free dental care this weekend at the San Mateo Events Center.

Dentists provided free services like teeth cleanings, extractions, and fillings.

Jim Cook and his wife came from Stockton, and they each got a full set of dentures.

When asked about his dental care, Jim Cook said, I was my own dentist at times, I was pulling my own teeth".

The couple hasn't had dental insurance in more than 30 years.

Dentures were made on-site at the 2-day clinic, organized by the California Dental Association. 

The CDA estimates about 30% of Californians face barriers to accessing dental care. That's an estimate; the dentists KTVU'S Allie Rasmus spoke to think the actual number is much higher.

"A lot of people think they have good dental coverage, when they come in it's very minimal," says Dr. Ariane Terlet. 

Jeff Jarvela of Sunnyvale visited the clinic to get partial dentures said, "I didn't realize how much this was going to impact my self-confidence, even how I sit at a table, so having the tooth back is going to be really, really helpful".

Nearly 1,000 dentists and dental professionals donated their time this weekend.