November 23-24, 2015
Oregon Convention Center * Portland, Oregon
Check out the links below for more information on Mission of Mercy.
Originating in Virginia and spreading throughout the United States, more than 50 Mission of Mercy (MOM) dental programs have been conducted since 2000 to provide free dental care to local residents who would otherwise be unable to receive treatment.
A successful MOM focuses on:
- Providing free access to critical dental care while placing a high priority on patients suffering from dental infections or pain.
- Raising awareness of the increasing difficulty low-income adults and children face in accessing critical dental care.
- Challenging low-income and Medicaid patients, policymakers and dental professionals to work together to reduce the disease burden and improve the oral health of Oregon residents, including those who have been promised care by the state.
The 2010 Oregon MOM program was the first Mission of Mercy event to be held on the West Coast. We provided care to the uninsured, the under-insured and anyone who otherwise has difficulty getting to a dentist. Those who showed up for care, adults and children, and didn't have any medically comprimising condition that would prohibit them from receiving care were seen on a first-come, first serve basis.
If you are a member of the press and would like more information on OrMOM, please contact Christina Swartz Bodamer at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 503-218-2010 ext. 105.
Mission of Mercy clinics are set up in locations easily accessible to all populations that live in a specific geographical area.
Patients arrive on-site, register for services, and are asked to fill out and sign a health and release form. Since patients are treated on a first-come, first-serve basis, the patients wait in line until their turn with a dentist. Patients are funneled through an initial screening where the volunteer dentist determines what procedures are needed and wanted. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of patients and time constraints, the dentists are not able to address every dental problem.
During the screening, the volunteer dentist determines which procedures would most benefit the patient. At that point, respective of the patients' needs, the patients are channeled either to the cleaning, extraction or restorative area(s) for their dental work.
Volunteer dental professionals are required to fill out tracking forms for each patient served, tracking the number of procedures performed. If a patient needs operative care (extractions, etc.), he or she receives a post-op form that includes a local social service agency's telephone and contact name. Should the individual experience complications in the days immediately following the clinic, the agency contact can refer him or her to a local dentist who has agreed to see MOM patients for emergency follow-up care.
An important element of the Oregon MOM program is patient education. Education is the most cost-effective way to reduce oral disease among the low-income population, including Medicaid patients. A program to help patients understand the importance of good daily oral hygiene practices, healthy diet and routine preventitive dental care is an essential part of Oregon Mission of Mercy.
In addition to receiving needed dental treatment, MOM patients learn the importance of good daily oral hygiene practices, healthy diet and routine preventitive dental care. It's a fact that such things ultimately save money and time in the dentist office.
They learn about the negative effects of soda, sugary beverages and tobacco products, the link between dental health and overall health, oral cancer and more.
How a MOM site is selected
There are approximately 20 site-selection criteria, including:
- A strong local dental society with dentists interested in helping plan and volunteer
- Local community involvement to help with recruiting volunteers and fundraising (dollars and in-kind donations)
- A venue that can house a dental treatment project the size of MOM, along with sufficient local hotels and other housing options for 900+ volunteers, the majority of whom travel to the community
More information on the America's Dentists Care Foundation, the organizers of MOM events, can be found on their website: www.adcfmom.org