His molars had been bothering him for a year, but without insurance Steve Thornton resigned to fight through the pain.
Relief finally came Saturday for the 55-year-old Oklahoma City resident, one of about 1,000 to seek free dental, vision, mental health and general health treatment at State Fair Park.
Hosted by Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps, the two-day health care event is bringing dozens of local and out-of-state providers to the park to provide free services for some of the state's neediest residents.
Thornton, who lined up at midnight the night before, said his dental work Saturday morning made him feel “110 percent better, just knowing they're out.” He also got a free cleaning.
Ron Brewer, director of the volunteer medical group, said participants were able to get most their basic health care needs met at the event.
Most people came for vision and dental screenings, he said. Nearly four dozen dentists, most of them from Oklahoma, did cleanings, fillings and extractions.
Volunteers conducted eye exams and made eyeglasses on the spot, he said. In the worst case scenarios, the volunteers were able to make referrals to professional ophthalmologists.
Physicians were also on site to conduct general health screenings, including women's care. Pediatricians provided treatment for children.