WDA Mission of Mercy delivers $1.3 million in free dental care to 1,753 patients

WEST ALLIS, WIS., June 30, 2014 – More than $1.3 million in charitable dental care was provided to 1,753 children and adults during 1,925 patient visits at the sixth Wisconsin Dental Association and WDA Foundation Mission of Mercy held June 27 and 28 at the KI Center in Green Bay. Patients included 31 Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes.

Individuals and families facing barriers to dental care sought treatment at this large-scale charitable event. The first patient traveled from West Allis, Wisconsin and waited in line more than 12 hours before the clinic doors opened at 5:30 a.m. on Friday.

A total of 8,136 dental procedures were performed during the two-day clinic, including: 769 X-rays, 1,889 fillings, 1,485 teeth extracted, 792 cleanings, 573 sealant/fluoride treatments and 43 endo procedures (root canals and therapeutic pulpotomies). Several dental labs worked with volunteer technicians to create 149 full and partial dentures. Every patient also received one-on-one oral hygiene instruction.

The WDA Mission of Mercy is a memorable experience for many. “I had almost given up on ever smiling again, but thanks to all of you, not only have you helped give me back my smile but my confidence. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem enough…I am beyond grateful,” wrote Jamielynn of Green Bay on her patient comment card.

This year’s 1,200 volunteers came from 206 Wisconsin communities, generously donating both their time and money to come to the aid of those in need. They included 217 dentists, along with dental hygienists and assistants, Marquette University School of Dentistry students and faculty, Spanish, Hmong and American Sign Language translators and many general volunteers.

Major financial and in-kind support was provided by Cornerstone Foundation, Delta Dental of Wisconsin Charitable Fund, Henry Schein Dental and Walmart Foundation. Delta Dental, Henry Schein and Kwik Trip have supported all six WDA MOM programs.

Some 80 organizations and individuals contributed $183,000 in tax-deductible financial and in-kind donations to help defray costs associated with dental equipment and facility rental, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food for volunteers and patients. On average, $6 to $8 in care is donated for every $1 received.

More than 13,000 children and adults have received in excess of $7.1 million in care at WDA Mission of Mercy events since 2009.

“Many Wisconsin residents continue to face barriers to dental care, which is why the WDA has joined the American Dental Association in Action for Dental Health activities like Mission of Mercy, ” WDA President Dr. Julio Rodriguez, a general dentist from Brodhead, said.

“Dental professionals are proud to be of service, but charity care is not the solution. The WDA stands ready to assist state lawmakers in developing and implementing policies that reduce barriers to dental care for Badger State residents of all ages,” Rodriguez added.

For more 2014 MOM photos, comments from patients, public officials and volunteers, videos and media coverage visit our WDA.org website and Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram.