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Louisiana Dentists Treat almost 1,500 Patients at Mission of Mercy Event

 
Dr. King Scott and Dr. Kimberly Caldwell participated in this year's Mission of Mercy.
March 11, 2015

Dentists in Louisiana provided free care to nearly 1,500 patients during the state’s Mission of Mercy, which was held Feb. 27-28 at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Baton Rouge.

Missions of Mercy are one- to three-day events at which dentists, dental hygienists and assistants, and other volunteers converge in large-scale, temporary clinics to provide free services for the nation’s most underserved people.

Last year, dentists provided care valued at more than $22 million to about 32,000 people at 24 Mission of Mercy events nationwide, according to the America’s Dentists Care Foundation. Since 2003, Missions of Mercy events have served more than 177,000 people in 28 states across the country, providing nearly $107 million in free services.

At this year’s Louisiana event, about 160 dentists transformed the Armed Forces Reserve Center into a large-scale dental clinic to treat adults and children who have limited financial resources or are otherwise unable to visit a dental office. Volunteers provided an estimated $1 million in services.

Patients received treatment on a first-come, first-served basis, and included dental examinations, X-rays, cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions and “flippers,” which are lightweight, removable dentures that usually serve as a temporary tooth replacement option.

The Louisiana Dental Association joined the American Dental Association in hosting the state’s first Mission of Mercy in November 2013 during the ADA’s annual meeting in New Orleans. Following the success of that event, the Louisiana Dental Association Foundation elected to host its own Mission of Mercy this year in the state capital.