The free, two-day dental clinic that has provided dental care to thousands of Oklahomans will commence on Stillwater this week on Friday and Saturday.
The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy will be hosted by the Payne County Expo Center, and will begin seeing patients at 6 a.m.
Patients will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis, as no appointments are needed. There is also no insurance needed.
The event is staffed by around 1,700 volunteers which are made up of local groups, as well as groups such as the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Dental Foundation and the Delta Dental Foundation of Oklahoma that attend and help with the event every year.
This year’s event is the 11th Mission of Mercy, and since 2010, has donated more than $12 million in dental services to more than 16,000 patients throughout the state. Patients can begin waiting in line at 8 p.m. on Thursday, as an indoor waiting area will be available on Thursday and Friday nights.
Dr. Chris Leslie, a Stillwater-area dentist and co-chair of the 2020 Mission of Mercy, said events such as these provide a monumental benefit to people who may not otherwise receive dental care.
“It will be a life-changing event for a lot of folks,” Leslie told the News Press in October. “Not only the patients who are receiving care, but the volunteers as well. It’s a great opportunity for people who don’t have the financial means to receive dental care, both from finances or location, so it gives them a whole different level of confidence when they feel good about their oral health.”
The dental services offered during the event include cleanings, fillings, extractions, limited root canals, immunizations and more. Leslie said the priority will be whatever each individual patient requires. There is a maximum of 1,000 people who can be served each day, once that maximum has been reached no other patients will be accepted for that particular day.
Due to the high volume of patients, people should expect to spend a majority of the day at the clinic. Patients receiving treatment must have a blood sugar level under 300 and have no fever or illness when they go to receive the dental treatment.