The two-day clinic, which is organized by the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation and staffed by volunteers, will be held May 31 and June 1 at the Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Community College of Rhode Islands Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. Doors open at 6 a.m. and will remain open until the clinic hits capacity.
Accessing affordable dental care continues to be a challenge for many members of our community, said Dr. Jeffrey Dodge, DMD, Mission of Mercy co-chair. The Mission of Mercy clinic is an annual effort to provide much-needed dental care for those who are uninsured, underinsured or otherwise unable to get the dental care they so desperately need.
In 2013, nearly 600 healthcare professionals and volunteers staffed the Mission of Mercy event and treated 929 patients. The two-day clinic provided:
23 root canals
56 removable partial dentures
$527,738 in free care
The goal of the Mission of Mercy clinic is to address patients most urgent oral health needs, placing a high priority on patients suffering from infections or pain. Dental services will include cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, X-rays, oral health education, fillings, tooth extractions, some root canal treatments and minor denture repairs.
Good dental care is essential to overall health and wellness, and yet many struggling families are deterred by the high cost of treatment, said U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin, D-RI. Rhode Island Mission of Mercy identified that need and filled it, and I am proud to support a program that last year alone provided more than $525,000 worth of free care to more than 900 patients across the state.
Funding The Clinic
As in past years, Delta Dental of Rhode Island is a primary funding partner for the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy clinic through its charitable endowment, the Delta Dental of Rhode Island Fund, and is providing $60,000 in support this year. In addition, Delta Dental employees volunteer throughout the two-day event.
The Rhode Island Mission of Mercy clinic continues to make a difference in the lives of so many people who might not otherwise get the oral care they need, and were proud to support this important community service, said President & CEO Joseph A. Nagle.
The Community College of Rhode Island is the clinics other primary sponsor. The college will again host the event in its 24-chair dental facility, which features digital radiography, a sterilization center and electronic dental records. The colleges in-kind contribution to last year's Mission of Mercy event totaled $97,000.
CCRI dental faculty, staff and students also volunteer at the clinic. Part of CCRIs mission is to respond to community needs, so we are pleased to support this fine event at our state-of-art dental facility once again, said CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale. We are proud that our sponsorship has helped nearly 2,000 patients over the past two year and are excited to welcome as many as 1,000 more to our Flanagan Campus this year to receive the dental care they need and deserve.
How You Can Help
In addition to dentists and other dental and medical professionals, community volunteers are needed to assist in both clinical and nonclinical activities. To register, visit the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy website, www.rimom.org.
About the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation
The Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation was established in 2011 with the mission of providing funding and resources to improve oral health in the state of Rhode Island, and the Mission of Mercy is the Foundations signature event.