CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - People were lined-up at 4 a.m.!
No, it wasn't a big sale---and it wasn't to get tickets to a rock concert!
They just wanted to get free dental care.
It's a program called "Dentistry from the Heart".
The parking lot was full most of the day at Dr. Robert Gallien's dentist office on Highway 58.
He and his staff were volunteering their time...for a good cause.
DR. GALLIEN, DENTIST "Obviously, when you have a line out the door and people waiting at 4 o'clock in the morning, there's a need."
It's called "dentistry from the Heart" and the staff here does it a couple of days every year.
TAYLOR CROSS, DENTAL ASSISTANT "Taylor what do we have here...well she needs etc. "
The nationwide Dentistry from the Heart program is a non-profit group that encourages local dental health organizations to help the less fortunate.
In exchange, some qualify for tax-deductible funds and materials.
The work, as you can imagine, is highly specialized.
DR. GALLIEN "Most of the things we're doing are fillings and extractions..because those are the things that are most needed."
Last year Dr. Gallien's office did 32-thousand dollars in charity work.
This year they want to do more.
Most of the patients don't have dental insurance.
DR. GALLIEN "Insurance, they help so much..but the insurance companies, they only cover a little bit. Only a little bit..and most people, sometimes people need more than just their basic needs" .
DAPHNE SWAFFORD, PATIENT "Its hard to get insurance for low income people. Really can't afford insurance...and so it's a real blessing what they're doing today."
BARNETT SWAFFORD, PATIENT "Thanks, thanks...from the bottom of my heart, thanks."
"I think you're going to be doing great.".
The volunteers at the dentist office will likely work into the evening.
And the cost is? Free!"
"Dentistry from the Heart" has grown to include 200 annual events nationwide... helping more than 45-thousand people with free dental services."