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Action for Dental Health

Wisconsin Dentists Treat More than 1,300 People during Mission of Mercy Event

June 22, 2015

Dentists in Wisconsin recently provided care to more than 1,300 people during the Wisconsin Dental Association's (WDA) and WDA Foundation's seventh Mission of Mercy, held at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds Expo Center.

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. In Wisconsin, Marquette University School of Dentistry students, faculty and the dean also volunteer.

The first person treated by Badger State dentists waited in line under a tent in the pouring rain for more than 18 hours before the clinic doors opened at 5:30 a.m. on June 12, according to the WDA.

“Many Wisconsin residents continue to face barriers to dental care, which is why the WDA has joined the American Dental Association in Action for Dental Health activities like Mission of Mercy,” said WDA President Dr. Paul Levine. “As dental professionals, we are proud to serve our communities, but charity care is not a long-term, viable solution. The WDA is ready to work with state lawmakers to develop and implement policies that make it possible for Badger State residents of all ages to receive regular and effective preventive care and early treatment of oral disease in a dental home near them.”

Dentists also provided care to 39 Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes during the event, according to the WDA.

One hundred and seventy-five dentists delivered charitable dental care valued at more than $1 million, performing nearly 5,000 dental procedures during the two-day clinic. Services included X-rays, fillings, extractions, cleanings, sealant/fluoride treatments, root canals and pulpotomies. 

Volunteers also fashioned full and partial dentures, and patients received one-on-one oral health education.

Twenty-four U.S. and state lawmakers, staffers and county officials visited the WDA Mission of Mercy, and nine of them also volunteered to help. This was state Sen. Janis Ringhand's (D-Evansville) fourth time as a volunteer.    

More than 14,300 children and adults have received in excess of $8 million in care at WDA Mission of Mercy events since 2009.