Michigan Dental Association Foundation to offer free dental services in Flint over 2-day event

By Canisha Bell

The Michigan Dental Association Foundation (MDA) plans to bring hundreds of dentists and dental staff volunteers together on June 14 and 15 to provide free services to thousands of patients at Flint’s Dort Financial Center.

The program, known as Mission of Mercy, is a collaborative effort to offer free dental care to all, regardless of income or residency status, and organizers are expecting to provide an estimated $1.8 million in services to as many as 2,000 people at the coming event.

Dr. Denise Polk, the local chair for Mission of Mercy, said dentists and staff at the event will be there “to alleviate your pain, remove infections, and provide dental education.” She added that services offered over the 2-day program may include “dental cleanings, fillings, inspections, limited root canals, and potential crowns.”

Polk noted that a majority of patients who have dental pain or infection tend to end up in the emergency room. However, she said, ER doctors are not normally equipped to manage dental disparities, so patients are “usually given a prescription and palliative treatment and told to follow up with their dentist — if they have a dentist.  So we’re trying to keep people out of the emergency room by addressing any pain they may have and any immediate treatment they may need.”

According to the MDA’s website, this will be the fifth Mission of Mercy program the foundation has put on, and, as with prior programs, it promises dental care for all ages.

“We also have a full pediatric area,” Polk said during a May 10 Flint community webinar to bring attention to the event. “Our pediatric dentists will see children of all ages and address their dental disparities.” 

In support of the Mission of Mercy program, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation announced a $70,000 grant to the MDA last week.

The MDA Foundation’s president, Dr. Daniel Peters, thanked the Mott Foundation in a May 9 press release, adding that “the entire Flint community has been wonderful to work with, and we are so looking forward to a fantastic Mission of Mercy event. Along with our community partners, we’ll make tangible improvements to oral health while simultaneously highlighting access-to-care issues that so many people in our state face.”

According to the program’s flier,  doors will open at 6 a.m. and close “when maximum capacity is reached” on each event day.

The Dort Financial Center is located at 3501 Lapeer Rd. in Flint.

Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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