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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hundreds of people were already in line by the time a free Charlotte dental clinic opened Saturday.

In fact, people began lining up Friday night for the one-day event organized by North Carolina Missions of Mercy.

An elderly woman, who asked not to be named, was the first in line. Her five children began taking turns to hold her place starting at 5 p.m. Friday.

The woman couldn t speak after treatment but managed a smile. She will be okay, her daughter said as they left.

Seven dentists are on hand, as well as dozens of volunteers, at the Smile Starters clinic at 4901 North Tryon. They re offering free exams, restorations and extractions for underserved patients.

Charities and churches sent a lot of the patients to the clinic, which runs through 5 p.m.

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