Dental foundation to host free dental care Friday and Saturday
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[June 09, 2010]
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois State
Dental Society Foundation hosts its first Mission of Mercy, or
"MOM," event at the Interstate Center in Bloomington on Friday and
Saturday. More than 900 volunteer dentists, hygienists and others
from throughout Illinois will provide free basic dental care and
oral surgery to patients who would not otherwise have access to
necessary dental treatment. The volunteers will use 93 portable
dental units, which include chairs and dental equipment.
"We expect to deliver free care to about 800 people each day,
providing an estimated $900,000 in free dental services to both
children and adults," said Dr. Luanne McClean president of the ISDS
Foundation. "Our emphasis will be on basic dental care, such as
fillings, extractions and cleanings, but not all dental services
will be available."
Patients will receive care on a first-come, first-served basis.
No appointments will be taken and no preregistration is available.
Priority will be given to those with the most critical need. Only
limited lab work will be offered (one-tooth treatment partials). No
false teeth will be made.
Doors will open each treatment day at 6 a.m. Patients will be
screened for medically compromising health conditions that would
prohibit treatment, such as extremely high blood pressure, high
blood sugar levels or severe disabilities. They will not be screened
on income; anyone can receive treatment.
"Based on other Mission of Mercy events held across the country,
typically there is a great deal of interest among prospective
patients, some of whom travel hundreds of miles to receive care,"
added Dr. Larry Osborne, ISDS president, who participated in
Oklahoma's event in February.
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The Illinois State Dental Society's Mission of Mercy will serve
to highlight the serious problem that Illinois citizens have in
accessing dental care. The event will relieve some suffering, but it
won't solve the problem. Only the Illinois Legislature can provide
the solution through adequately funding the dental Medicaid program
More than 2.6 million Illinoisan are enrolled in state-sponsored
health insurance. Two-thirds of those enrolled are children. While
Illinois has experienced a steady increase in public aid enrollment,
funding for the most critical procedures has not increased in more
than 30 years.
More information on the event is available at
www.isds.org by clicking on
"Mission of Mercy."
[Text from file received from
Illinois State Dental Society]