Mission Of Mercy: Patient Information FAQ’s
Click on the questions below to find out important information on the 2018 Mission of Mercy program, with clinic days scheduled for September 7-8 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
2. When and where is this FREE dental clinic?
Clinic Dates: September 7-8, 2018
Clinic Hours: Doors open at 5:30 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. each day.
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403
From the West (I-94)
Take the 4th Street exit from I-94 and proceed to 2nd Avenue South. (Do NOT turn right onto 2nd Avenue North.) Turn right on 2nd Avenue South and go 8 blocks to Convention Center.
From the West (I-394)
Take Downtown exit (12th Street): follow 12th Street South to 2nd Avenue South and turn right. The Convention Center is on your left.
From the East (I-94)
Take the 11th Street exit: follow 11th Street South until you reach 2nd Avenue South, turn left onto 2nd Avenue South and cross 12th Street South. The Convention Center is on your left. The Underground Plaza Parking Ramp is on your right.
From the South (I-35W)
Follow downtown exit signs to the 11th Street exit and follow 11th Street to 2nd Avenue South. Turn left on 2nd Avenue South and go 1 block to Convention Center.
From the North (I-35W)
Take I-35W to Hwy 280. Follow Hwy 280 to I-94 west. Follow I-94 to the 11th Street exit (NOT 11th Avenue exit). Follow 11th Street to 2nd Avenue South. Turn left on 2nd Avenue South and go 1 block to the Convention Center.
For downtown Minneapolis construction updates, check out the city’s Web site: construction updates. For traffic and road conditions in the metro area, visit the 511 Traffic & Road Conditions page.
Metro Transit Trip Planner Buses and taxis are readily available at the MCC, the airport, Mall of America and at most hotels. Use Metro Transit’s Trip Planner for easy door-to-door directions for buses and light-rail trains.
Take a “Free Ride” on the Bus
Free bus rides are available on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis and to and from the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC). This gives you an easy way to go from one end of town to the other – for free! The free service on selected routes between Grant Street and Washington Avenue is offered on buses marked “Free Ride.” Other buses on Nicollet – and all within the Downtown Zone – charge 50¢. Free-ride buses leave every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 to 30 minutes on weekends. Buses on Nicollet stop every other block between 5th and 13th Streets.
Parking is easy to find at the conveniently located Minneapolis Convention Center. Across the street from the Minneapolis Convention Center is an underground ramp that is connected by a climate-controlled skyway system to the Minneapolis Convention Center and several downtown accommodations and attractions.
Within easy walking distance of the MCC there are a dozen parking ramps, most connected to the Minneapolis Convention Center by skyway.
Parking is available on Third Avenue directly east of the Minneapolis Convention Center.
< 1 Hour $5.00
> 1 to 3 Hours $8.00
> 3 to 6 Hours $10.00
> 6 to 12 Hours $15.00
> 12 to 24 Hours $20
Early Bird 6:00-8:00am, out by 5:00pm $9.00
Meet Minneapolis has partnered with Spot Hero, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow visitors to purchase guaranteed parking near their destination. View real-time availability and pricing at many locations within easy walking distance to many attractions around Minneapolis.
Click here to reserve your parking.
Once purchased, parking is 100% guaranteed even if the location otherwise fills up. Simply present your purchase confirmation at the selected location, and this serves as your payment with no additional payments or fees ever. Parking availability is very limited, so it is strongly recommended that you purchase your parking in advance.
3. How does the clinic work?
The clinic will be staffed with hundreds of volunteers from throughout the state of Minnesota and neighboring states, including licensed dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. As you and your family enter the Minneapolis Convention Center, volunteers will register you, take a basic health history, and then direct you to the appropriate treatment area. There are no qualifications or restrictions (except possible health issues) to take advantage of the free dental services.
4. What dental services will be offered?
All patients are examined by a licensed dentist to determine their most important need. Depending on your need, services may include cleanings, fillings, tooth removal (extractions), a limited number of root canals and treatment partials to replace front teeth. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide caps, crowns, metal-based partial dentures, dentures, implants, bridges, orthodontics or extraction of wisdom teeth. Narcotics will not be dispensed. You and the treating dentist will decide the appropriate service that best fits your circumstances. An individual’s most severe problem (infection and/or pain) will be given first priority. Services will be done on a first come-first serve basis.
5. Will you be able to fix all my dental problems?
That will depend on what your needs are. Only one major service is usually performed on each patient. We will do multiple extractions or fillings at one time; however, you will not receive both of these services at one time. Our philosophy is to provide services to as many people as possible rather than provide many services to fewer people. If you receive treatment on Friday you can get in line for Saturday, too.
8. Do I need an appointment?
No, all services at the Minnesota Mission of Mercy are provided on a first-come, first-served basis until we have reached our capacity for the day. Our capacity is determined by the number of professional volunteers present and cannot be predicted in advance of the opening of the MOM event. Our goal is to treat as many patients as we can each day.
9. When do I need to be there?
You should plan to arrive in the early morning hours. Patients usually begin arriving shortly after midnight. Doors will open at 5 a.m. and dental examinations will begin promptly. Please remember services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis until we have reached our capacity for the day.
10. Do I need to wait in line if my case is an emergency?
Everyone has to wait in line for services. Most Mission of Mercy patients are suffering and in pain, so we do not take anyone out of line. If you have dental pain, fever, and/or swelling, you should seek immediate attention and NOT wait for Mission of Mercy, as this could put your overall heath at greater risk.
11. How long can I expect to spend at the Minnesota Mission of Mercy?
Patients seeking treatment at the Minnesota Mission of Mercy should be prepared to spend the entire day at the event. If you are not available when your name is called for treatment, we will move on to the next patient.
12. What should I bring with me?
We suggest bringing the following items with you to the Minnesota Mission of Mercy:
- Snacks and drinks to sustain you during your waiting period.
- Adequate clothing to shelter you while waiting.
- Something to pass the time, like a book, knitting or puzzles.
- Please bring a list of your current medications. On the day of the clinic be sure to take your medications and bring them with you if you would need them throughout the duration of the event.
13. What, medically, could keep me from being treated at the Mission of Mercy?
- Anticoagulation: Patients on ASA or Plavix can have extractions. Coumadin patients need to have an INR within 24H if needing extractions. This can be done on site if we have a machine. For 1-2 extractions cut off is 3.5. For 3 or more extractions cut off is 3.0. Patients on anticoagulants that cannot be measured by an INR (i.e. Pradaxa and Xarleto) cannot have extractions.
- Bisphosphonates: Routine dental care may be provided with gentle soft tissue management. Local anesthesia can be used as necessary. Patients with a history of Oral Bisphosphonate treatment may have extractions at the discretion of the oral surgery/medical triage lead. Patients with a history of IV Bisphosphonate treatment may not have extractions.
- Blood pressure cutoff: 180/100
- Blood sugar cutoff: 300
- Heart Stents – no treatment before 3 months post op – no pre-med necessary.
- Heart surgery – no treatment before 6 months post op or at discretion of medical triage lead, pre-med case by case basis.
- Pregnancy: Should receive hygiene care as indicated. In uncomplicated pregnancy, treatment of symptomatic teeth can be done in all trimesters. Asymptomatic teeth should be treated only in second trimester. Lidocaine only. Multiple extractions will be at the discretion of oral surgery.
14. What can I expect at the Mission of Mercy?
Come prepared for the weather when waiting in line and have a plan to stow your gear (chairs, blankets, sleeping bags) while you are in the clinic, as large items will not be permitted inside.
Once capacity has been reached, the clinic doors will be closed and a sign will be placed outside as notification to others. This process will repeat on the second day. We will treat as many patients as we can each of the two clinic days. As patients enter the building they will be given a name tag and a numbered wristband that corresponds with their place in line. Patients must maintain their place in line, in both the waiting room and the clinic, and cannot be gone for long periods of time for any reason. They will be escorted, as necessary, by volunteers for restroom breaks.
Once they are seated, patients will be given a registration/release form to complete. Note, that we will not be checking IDs, and any demographic information collected will only be used in aggregate, so we have statistics about our patient population.
In the Dental Education area patients will receive information about the importance of maintaining their teeth with proper tooth brushing and flossing. Information will also be provided about nutrition and diet as it relates to dental decay. We will also have materials specific to smoking cessation and other health issues such as diabetes.
Patients will proceed, in numerical order to Medical Triage. Their medical history will be reviewed and their blood pressure taken to be sure they are healthy enough to safely receive dental treatment. From Medical Triage they will be escorted to X-ray and then to Dental Triage where a dentist will examine them and discuss recommended treatment.
Patients will stop at the Routing desk and receive a numbered card for the corresponding clinic where they will receive treatment (i.e., fillings, extractions, cleanings, treatment partials).
Once patients have received their treatment they are escorted, as needed, to a post-op area where a dentist will explain proper post-treatment care and answer any questions. From there, all patients will take a small exit survey and then be escorted back outside.
15. What should I do if my doctor tells me to premed before dental treatment?
Follow the instructions of your primary care provider and inform the attending medical providers examining you in Medical Triage. Take the premedication if you have it; if you do not, it will be provided for you in the clinic. Premedication does not eliminate you from receiving care.
18. English is not my primary language; will there be interpreters?
Yes, interpreters will be available for those speaking Spanish. Some other languages can be accommodated through our volunteers. If you can bring a friend or family member to interpret for you, it would be greatly appreciated; however, not required.
20. Who is paying for all this free dental care?
The Minnesota Dental Foundation Mission of Mercy is entirely volunteer run and donation based. We have received very generous contributions from our MOM sponsors that allow us to bring in the equipment and supplies necessary for the clinic. Everyone working at the clinic is volunteering their time and talents. The services are absolutely free to patients.