by Devin Fehely

SAN MATEO (KPIX) — Alberta Bash needed three of her teeth pulled but, with no dental insurance or money to spare, she hasn’t been able to have the procedure performed.

“I’ve been thinking to myself for the last few months ‘how am I going to do this?’ It needs to be done before it gets to the point where it caused my health to go down,” Bash recalled.

Bash is one of more than 2,000 people who took advantage of a free dental clinic this weekend in San Mateo, organized by the California Dental Association.

“I greatly appreciate it. I don’t think I can thank them enough honestly, I don’t know how to thank them,” Bash said.

Alberta Bash

Alberta Bash became emotional expressing gratitude for the free dental clinic held Saturday in San Mateo. (CBS)

Hundreds of volunteers helped clean teeth, fill cavities or pull teeth that couldn’t be saved.

“This is one of the most expensive places to live in the nation so dental care tends to fall behind for many people and they can’t afford it,” said Dr. Carliza Marcos.

The CDA estimates that three out of ten Californians have difficulty getting dental care and many of those are children.

“I lost my insurance a year ago so I’ve struggled to get my kids to the dentist,” Fanney Esqueda told KPIX on Saturday.

Esqueda’s daughters got a good checkup — no cavities — and their mom came away with a deep sense of relief.

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