MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The Minnesota Dental Association and the Minnesota Dental Foundation are bringing the Minnesota Mission of Mercy for the first time to northern Minnesota on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, to provide free dental care to children and adults who are uninsured, underinsured and not able to obtain dental treatment. The Sanford Center in Bemidji was chosen as the site to accommodate the massive dental clinic which will treat as many as 2,000 patients from a wide geographic area. The signature sponsor of the event is Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation.

Free care being provided includes cleanings, fillings, extractions and limited treatment for partial dental appliances. There is no advance sign up and patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis each day. The doors open at 5:30 a.m. and early arrival is encouraged.

The free care is being provided by more than 1,000 volunteers, including dentists from Minnesota and surrounding states, as well as hygienists, dental assistants, translators and lay volunteers.

“This is one more way we can make a difference in our communities and also highlight the large unmet need out there,” said Dr. Michael Flynn, a practicing dentist and president of the Minnesota Dental Association. “Last year’s event in Mankato resulted in 2,000 patient visits, clearly showing that vulnerable people are not receiving the dental treatment they need. Until this problem is solved, the MDA will continue to work with lawmakers on a better solution to improving the broken public system.”

The outreach has been designed to provide care to 2,000 patients. Dental services not provided are implants, crowns and root canals on molars, full dentures and removal of unexposed wisdom teeth.

Adults and children of all ages who do not have a medically compromising condition that prohibits safe treatment are welcome. There will be no photo identification, social security number or any other personal documentation required. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

To learn more about the event, or to volunteer, go to: mndental.org/mnmom.

The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.