Stillwater was selected as the 2020 stop for the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy free dental clinics. It will take place Feb. 7-8 at the Payne County Expo Center. The clinics are held only once a year, in a two-day span, with an average of 1,600 patients per event.
According to the its website OKMOM.org, the clinic is “designed to meet the needs of children and adults who are uninsured, under-insured or simply do not have access to oral health care.”
Services provided will be cleanings, fillings, extractions, some root canals and immunizations. Services not provided are: braces, dentures (all teeth replacements), root canals on back teeth, wisdom teeth extractions, night guards and implants.
“This event is vital to Oklahoma because there are many people who simply do not have access to the care they need,” Mission of Mercy chair Dr. Chris Fagan said before the 2019 event in Oklahoma City. “For many people, this one event is the only opportunity they will have to visit a dentist.”
The dental events treat an average of 1,614 patients a year and since its first event in 2010, it has conducted 95,087 procedures, according to a release.
“It’s going to be thousands of people and they will need a lot of help. It’s a very large event,” Visit Stillwater CEO Cristy Morrison said.
Each event needs approximately 1,500 volunteers, clinical and non-clinical. Stillwater dentists have been frequent volunteers for the organization.
“Volunteers can work up to 8-hour shifts each day with very limited rest time,” the release states. “In order to treat as many patents as possible, treatment begins each day at 5 a.m. with patients continuously being treated; the clinic will be open and operating for 12 straight hours.”
Breakfast, lunch and snacks are served to all volunteers. There are also volunteer opportunities to provide meals. Sponsorship will also be important, with donation levels ranging from corporate sponsorships of $50,000 to under a $1,000. Visit okmom.org for more information.
The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy is produced by the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Dental Foundation and the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation.