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 15,360 children and adults have now received in excess of $9.08 million in donated 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 2016 include:

  • Rep. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville)
  • State Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel)

State lawmakers who toured MOM 2016 include:

  • Rep. James Edming (D – Evansville)
  • State Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva)
  • Sen. Terry Moulton (R – Chippewa Falls)

“I think this is probably the most impressive operation that I’ve ever witnessed in my life…. How you can take somebody and pull their teeth out today and before the day is done and walk out of here with a smile on their face. It’s unbelievable and I hope next year if you can give me a call, I’d love to volunteer and see how it works in with my schedule. This has been an eye opener like I’ve never seen before. You guys are doing a super job.”Rep. James Edming (D – Evansville)

“It’s so encouraging to see people at their very best. And, that’s what I saw today – Selfless people sharing their talents and time. This event makes me happy as a representative of the people to know we can be successfully when hundreds of volunteers come together for a cause. It is a community win-win. As legislators, we need to focus on helping people get needed care and more preventive care. MOM underlines this because you see people who have waited too long. Everyone we can do to be proactive is needed.”State Rep. Warren Petryk (R-Eleva)

“There are so many people who don’t have dental care in Wisconsin. This event gives residents an opportunity to have problems fixed. It is improving the community’s health. The more I have been at MOM events, the more I see how it impacts people’s lives.”State Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel)


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