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Oklahoma Dentists Provide Record Number of Services at Mission of Mercy Despite Weather Setbacks

December 19, 2014

In the face of several snowstorms that forced many volunteers to stay home, dentists participating in Oklahoma’s fifth annual Mission of Mercy provided more free services this year to patients than during previous events.

This year’s Oklahoma Mission of Mercy (OkMOM) was held Feb. 7-8 at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center in Enid, a city of about 40,000 people in the northern part of the state. More than 1,700 dental volunteers – including about 220 dentists – provided free care to about 1,500 patients who otherwise would not have received it, according to the 2014 OkMOM Chair and ODA President Dr. Tim Fagan, a pediatric dentist from Enid.

Brutal snowstorms struck several parts of the state that week, forcing about 500 volunteers to cancel plans to attend this year’s event.

Despite the setback, dentists provided nearly 12,000 services to patients this year, topping last year’s record of just more than 7,000, according to the Oklahoma Dental Association.

New services were available for the first time this year, according to Dr. Fagan. Dentists provided anterior flippers – which are temporary dentures for one or more teeth – for about 40 people, and volunteers arranged for buses to transport people from the Oklahoma panhandle to Enid for treatment.

“OkMOM touched many individuals and was very instrumental in helping them achieve improved dental health that they might not have been able to get without the help of this annual event. OkMOM is by far the largest healthcare-related charitable event in Oklahoma and I am honored and humbled each year to be a small part of it,” said Dr. Fagan.

The next OkMOM is scheduled to take place Feb. 6-7, 2015, at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa.