COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) – A trip to the dentist can cost you thousands of dollars.

Even if people need serious dental health care some may go without because of the price tag.

This is why the South Carolina Dental Association hosted a free dental clinic Friday.

Hundreds of dental professionals, dental students and volunteers provided free care. They served more than 800 patients with an estimated $600,000 worth of dental care.

One of the faces in the crowd was Barbara Johnson.

“I think it’s a good thing because there’s a lot of people out there that don’t have insurance, that don’t know how to get care for their mouth,” Johnson explained.

She had not been to the dentist in 20 years and needed a bad tooth removed. She was able to get a free extraction which could have cost up to $500 for free.

“No I wouldn't be able to have this done,” Johnson admitted.

“I think it just builds community involvement,” Dr. Lee Ayer said.

Ayer has been a dentist for more than 33 years and helps organize the event.

“We just want to take care of people and we have all faiths, all races, all creeds,” Ayer explained. “Our central objective is just to take care of the patients’ needs and work together and enjoy doing the process.”

Folks received free x-rays, free cleanings, free extractions, free fill ins and more from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. at the State Fairgrounds.

This was the ninth year for the Dental Access Day.

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