About MOM

WDA Mission of Mercy Logo


The America’s Dentists Care Foundation launched the first Mission of Mercy in Virginia in 2000. Today, MOM events can be found nationwide. More than 14,300 children and adults have received in excess of $8 million in care at WDA Mission of Mercy events since 2009.

A successful MOM event focuses on:

  • Providing free, critical dental care with a high priority on treating patients in pain and with infections
  • Raising public awareness of the barriers to dental care faced by low-income adults and children
  • Challenging patients, policymakers and dental professionals to work together to make viable and bipartisan “Healthy Choices” that will improve Wisconsin residents’ oral health

The Wisconsin MOM program provides care to anyone who has difficulty getting to a dentist. Those who show up for care (children and adults) and don’t have any medically- compromising condition that would prohibit them from receiving care are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.


Wisconsin legislators comment on MOM, dental access

One goal of the WDA Mission of Mercy is to challenge patients, policymakers and dental professionals to work together to make viable and bipartisan “Healthy Choices” that will improve Wisconsin residents’ oral health.

State lawmakers who volunteered at MOM 2015 include:

  • Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) who volunteered at her fourth Mission of Mercy!
  • Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo)
  • Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee)
  • Rep. Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee)
  • Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah)
  • Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit)
  • Rep. Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton)
  • Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel)
  • Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac)

U.S. and state lawmakers, staffers and county officials who toured the MOM clinic in Fond du Lac include:

  • State Sen. Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac)
  • State Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Madison)
  • State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh)
  • Rep. Deb Kolste (D-Janesville)
  • Rep. John Macco (R-DePere)
  • State Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon)
  • State Rep. David Steffen (R-Howard)
  • State Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) and staffer Ethan Hollenberger
  • Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc)
  • Rep. Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth)
  • U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R)
  • Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel
  • Fond du Lac County Supervisor Ted Eischeid
  • Fond du Lac County Administrator Erin Gerred


“Amazing the amount of work they do here and for all ages…I think there’s opportunity for our state government to improve reimbursement rates within the dental community that could make dental care more available and more affordable for individuals in the state..it’s also great to see that the dental community is willing to work with state government in trying to come up with better solutions.”
State Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah)

“There’s a lot of need for dental care…and a need to address the issue more comprehensively around the state. A lot of great people willing to help out…I wanted to see it for myself and help out and do what I can.” – State Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit)

“There is so much more than just simple cleanings…it’s really filling a need that people have…It’s really been amazing to see just the amount of people coming here for services and the amount of people volunteering their time…” – State Rep. Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton)

“It’s just a wonderful thing that the dental association takes two days a year and provides millions of dollars in care for people who have not had and could not get care.” – State Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon)


Patient education

An important element of the Wisconsin MOM program is patient education. Education is the most cost-effective way to reduce oral disease. A special program helps educate patients about the importance of good daily oral hygiene practices, healthy diet and routine preventive dental care.

Beginning in 2014, individuals seeking care at WDA Mission of Mercy will have a mandatory visit to an enhanced patient education area. It will have a prominent place at the beginning of the process and will be staffed by a team of students and others dedicated to educating and encouraging patients to make changes in their lives to improve their oral health.

Patient education at MOM has three components – a questionnaire asking about at-risk behaviors, a poster area matched to each behavior and a brushing and flossing instruction area. The entire process will take patients no more than 15 minutes to complete.

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. It’s a fact that personal oral health education ultimately saves money and time in the dentist office.


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 (e.g., oral health coalition, legislators) 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



For each WDA Mission of Mercy event, funds are needed to help cover dental equipment and facility rental, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food costs. For every $1 in hard-dollar donations we receive, WDA dentists and other MOM volunteers donate $6 – $8 of care.

If you or your organization would like to help us make a difference by making a tax-deductible contribution, please contact Vicki Bohman at vbohman@wda.org for more information or send your contribution to:

WDA Foundation
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 2360
West Allis, WI 53214

*Be sure to include Mission of Mercy in the memo line