According to the Virginia Health Care Foundation, 3.8 million people in Virginia, or more than 47 percent of people, do not have dental insurance.

Now one local non-profit group, Mission of Mercy, is working to make oral care more accessible to everyone.

Veteran Mike Morel was treated at a recent Mission of Mercy clinic. Local dentists and hygienists volunteer their time to provide free dental care.

Morel completed 2 tours in Iraq and was struggling financially when he got home. He served our country, but was living in pain. He needed his wisdom tooth pulled, but couldn't afford it.

Thanks to Northern Virginia dentist Dr. Jose Aunon and hygienist Patti Elliftritz, who drove 5 hours from North Carolina to volunteer her time, Morel was able to get his dental work taken care of, for free.

“I just let it go and it’s been enduring pain because I can’t afford it,” said Morel. “This is definitely a relief.”

Mission of Mercy treats thousands of people a year.

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Washington D.C./Maryland: