MONTREAL - A free dental clinic for the poor and homeless is now open inside the Welcome Hall Mission in St-Henri.

The Jim Lund Clinic, named after the former dean of McGill's School of Dentistry, aims to bring healthy smiles to the faces of those who have been unable to afford adequate care.

The permanent 1,000-square-foot clinic has two dental chairs, aims to serve hundreds of clients each year, and already has a waiting list.

Crull Morgan, the CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission, says the service is sorely needed.

"Many have either been stigmatized by society, or raised in a culture that did not encourage it," said Morgan.

"Because of our close relationship with our clients, they have come to feel warm and secure here."

This is the first permanent clinic of its kind in Quebec.

It will be open three days a week and serve 12 patients via a referral process.

McGill's School of Dentistry has long provided people with free dental care, usually helping out students, low-income families, and the homeless.

The new clinic will also see dental students and residents providing treatment, along with a dental assistant.

The Jim Lund clinic is at 606 De Courcelle Rd. at the corner of Acorn Rd. in St.Henri.