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Colorado Dentists Transform High School into Temporary Clinic

October 21, 2014

Dentists in Colorado recently transformed a suburban Denver area high school into a large-scale, temporary clinic, where they provided much-needed care for more than 1,200 adults and children. 

Missions of Mercy are one- and two-day events at which dentists from across the state converge to treat underserved people. At many events, people camp outside convention centers, schools and temporary dental field hospitals to secure a spot for treatment.

Organizers said that staging Colorado’s eighth annual Mission of Mercy at Prairie View High School in Henderson, which was held Oct. 3-4, was successful in part because of the school district’s willingness to reschedule events such as teacher in-service days and the school’s football game. 

“It was really amazing that the community could get behind us so much,” said Molly Pereira, associate executive director of the Colorado Dental Association.  

For the second year in a row, dentists offered extensive restorative treatment such as crowns and dentures, she added.

“There are patients in their 30s who received dentures, and now they’re in a better position to get a job because of their appearance,” said Ms. Pereira. “It truly gives them a better quality of life than they had before.”

The Mission of Mercy programs are assisted by the America’s Dentists Care Foundation. Thousands of ADA member dentists participate in Missions of Mercy every year, most of them at events organized by their state dental associations and affiliated organizations.