WEST ALLIS, WIS., June 5, 2012 – The Wisconsin Dental Association and WDA Foundation are bringing their fourth annual WDA Mission of Mercy to the Exhibition Hall at Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison on June 29 and 30 to provide free dental care to children and adults who have limited financial resources or are otherwise unable to visit a dental office.
This will be the largest charitable dental clinic ever staged in the United States. At least 1,500 volunteer dental professionals and community helpers will work at the “mega” MOM to provide $1.75 million in cleanings, fillings, extractions, partial dentures and personal oral hygiene education through 3,500 patient encounters.
Individuals of all ages without a medically-compromising condition, such as extremely high blood pressure or severe disabilities that prohibits safely receiving care are welcome.
No photo identification, Social Security number or other personal documentation is required. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Spanish and Hmong interpreters will be available to assist patients.
Doors open at 5:30 a.m. About 1,750 patients will be seen each day on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no appointments. Early arrival is encouraged, because available patient slots usually fill by 10 a.m.
The free dental clinic is staffed by volunteer dentists, dental hygienists and assistants, Marquette University School of Dentistry students and community members.
Major financial and in-kind support is provided by Delta Dental of Wisconsin, Henry Schein Dental, Meriter, Patterson Dental, Tellier Foundation, Alliant Energy Center, Epic, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, UW Health and Dane County Dental Society.
More than 50 organizations and individuals will make tax-deductible financial and in-kind donations to help cover $250,000 in costs for dental equipment and facility rental, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food for this major charitable dental care event which includes one day each for set up and clean up.
For every dollar received, WDA dentists and other MOM volunteers donate $6 – $8 in care. More than 5,600 people have received $2.8 million in free careat WDA Mission of Mercy events since 2009.
“MOM is not a solution, but it does meet some individuals’ urgent dental needs while highlighting the barriers low-income residents can face in getting care,” said WDA President Dr. Steve Stoll of Neenah, Wis.
The “mega” MOM is coming to Madison, because as Waukesha general dentist and state co-chair Dr. Gene Shoemaker said, “We believe the need in the state capital and surrounding areas to be so great that a standard 100-chair clinic won’t be enough to meet demand. Rather than turn thousands of children and adults in need of care away, we’re going to bring in 150 – 200 chairs.”
With more than 3,000 members statewide, the WDA represents 85 percent of all licensed dentists and a growing number of dental hygienists in Wisconsin. The association believes oral health is critical to overall health and ensuring residents have proper dental care is important to our state economically and socially.
“Wisconsin’s dentists donate tens of millions of dollars in charitable care through various programs annually, and the WDA has also proposed ‘Healthy Choices’ to help more people get the care they need. We look forward to working with lawmakers on positive, viable and bipartisan solutions,” Stoll added.