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Hundreds wait in line for hours at the SC Dental Association’s Dental Access Days (DAD) to receive dental care, something many have not had in years. Some say decades.

John, 28, Greenville, arrived to the Carolina First Center early Thursday afternoon in hopes of being one of the first people in line to be seen by dentists and doctors.

John knew he needed to be seen by an oral surgeon to have several teeth extracted that were broken. “My teeth disgust me. So I know they disgust others,” he said.

John has other teeth pulled before but wasn’t able to get all the work done that he needed. He works odd jobs and does computer repairs trying to make a living and save up money to be seen by a dentist that would allow for a payment plan.

John’s story is similar to millions of others across the country that lack dental insurance benefits, leaving a substantial population unable to afford expensive treatments. About 27 percent of Americans aged 20 to 64 years suffer from untreated dental complications, the most out of any age group, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

DAD was held in conjunction with SC Mission 2010, a two-day free medical and vision clinic, held at the Carolina First Center in Greenville earlier this month.