All throughout the United States, more than 70 Mission of Mercy dental programs have given away FREE dental care to people who were unable to receive it. The Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation hosted its first event in 2011 and has provided more than $12 million in free dental services. The event is BAAAAAAACKK!
We are talking $2 million in FREE dental care to more than 2,000 patients in two days. That is happening on a first come, first served basis at the AZ Mission of Mercy event on Friday and Saturday at the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.
Nearly 1700 dentists, hygienists, lab technicians, assistants and lay people are volunteering, including Dentist, Dr. Allison House. We caught up with her to learn more about the experience. She told us that people need their front teeth to smile at their loved ones, to get a job and to have confidence. She loves seeing the transformations and helping others.
Dr. House also told us that there is a misconception that preventative care is very expensive. She said it is estimated to be almost $1 a day for an entire year ($360). It's worth the maintenance so you don't have pain and infections.
There will be 100 portable dental units, and you can get all kinds of services like fillings, extractions, cleanings, limited lab work (X-rays) and denture work.
Patients of all ages are welcome, though individuals with cancer are not encouraged to come to this event. You will want to get there early. Line up on the west side of the Coliseum. The doors open at 6 a.m. You have until 6 p.m. to get treatments on Friday (12/7) and Saturday (12/8). Since rain is expected, a covered area will be available. If people plan to camp out overnight, you should be let inside.
Dr. House told us that there are other events that AZMOM organizes, including some for veterans, and they rely on donations. If you would like to contribute so others can get the services they need, text AZMOM to 71777. Your donations go to Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation.
Trust me, some of these before and after photos give you even more reason to SMILE!
IF YOU GO:
Veteran's Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds
1826 W McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85007