MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Minnesota Dental Association and the Minnesota Dental Foundation hosted its Minnesota Mission of Mercy on July 25 and 26, providing free dental care to children and adults who face barriers to accessing dental care. This third Mission of Mercy event held in Minnesota delivered free dental care valued at $900,000. The signature sponsor of the event was Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation.
The Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato was transformed into a giant dental clinic that included over 100 dental chairs, 16 sterilization units, and 9 x-ray units. Over the course of two days there were 1,500 patient visits, resulting in over 6,950 total dental procedures, including 1,066 fillings, 1,145 extractions, 1,195 x-rays, 540 cleanings, 100 partial dentures, and 46 root canals.
Over 1,000 volunteers were used to staff the two-day event and included dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental therapists, translators and hundreds of community and lay volunteers who served as greeters, registration assistants, and patient escorts. In addition to the two clinic days, volunteers also donated countless hours to setting up and then tearing down the massive dental clinic at The Verizon Wireless Center.
This Mission of Mercy, the third event held in Minnesota and the second in Mankato, focused on providing dental care to underserved populations that face barriers to obtaining dental care, many suffering from long-term pain and even infection from untreated dental disease. “We returned to Mankato to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people who are not receiving the dental treatment they need,” stated Dr. Michael Perpich, a practicing dentist and president of the Minnesota Dental Association. “This event so clearly shows the large unmet need out there and, until this problem is solved, the MDA will continue to work with lawmakers on a better solution to improving the broken public system.”
The Minnesota Dental Foundation raised $214,000 in donations to cover the cost of the event.
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.