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Southern Oregon Mission of MercySouthern Oregon Mission of Mercy
Purpose: To combine the donated services of dentists, dental hygienists, and lay volunteers to provide free dental clinics nationwide to reduce health risks and suffering for those who cannot afford dental care. Read more
Purpose: To combine the donated services of dentists, dental hygienists, and lay volunteers to provide free dental clinics nationwide to reduce health risks and suffering for those who cannot afford dental care.
Description - The Mission of Mercy is a one or two-day clinic in which portable dental stations are set up in a large public arena and dental screenings and services are provided at no charge to those who attend. The event also requires one day for set-up and another for cleanup. Historically, demand for these clinics has been so intense that individuals often stand in line, as early as midnight, to receive the services.
Usually the event is so large and the lines so long that communities often provide liquids and meals for those in line to avoid medical emergencies. The most common dental procedures are
extractions, fillings and cleanings for adults and fillings and sealants for children, but some dentists do arrange to provide restorative work when the patients are younger and the teeth are cosmetically or functionally important.
In addition, if someone is missing a few teeth, plastic partial dentures are constructed. Dentists and dental hygienists in the state (and nearby states) are recruited to volunteer their services. The host community is asked to provide several hundred volunteers to help with support services. Most often partners in the project include the local health department and hospital. Local law enforcement usually assists with crowd control. The state’s School of Dentistry and department of Health and Human Services also assists in the setup of the clinic.