2018 Florida Mission of Mercy

By DentalPC

What happens when you need a dental cleaning, you’re experiencing tooth pain or worse? Most of our readers own dental practices or they are staff members who assist in a dental practice, which should make the entire process of going to the dentist very simple.

For most people who do not work in the world of dentistry, typically you’ll make a dental appointment and see your dentist as soon as possible, but what if it wasn’t that simple for others? Thankfully, DentalPC partners with life-changing foundations like the Florida Dental Association Foundation’s Florida Mission of Mercy (FLA-MOM) to help make this process a little easier for some of our Floridians.

What is the FLA-MOM?

The FLA-MOM is a two-day clinic which provides free dental care to the under-served and under-insured in Florida – those that would otherwise go without dental care. The FLA-MOM is a first-come, first-served event with a goal of treating 2,000 patients in two days. Every year, the FLA-MOM event is held in a different location throughout the state.

Services provided include cleanings, fillings, extractions, pediatric dentistry and limited root canal therapy.

How is DentalPC Involved?

DentalPC had the honor of sponsoring the FLA-MOM as the Presenting Benefactor for the fourth consecutive year. Clay Archer (CEO) and his team of knowledgeable technicians traveled to Fort Myers for this years big event. It was a busy couple of days in Fort Myers at the Lee Civic Center last weekend! The FLA-MOM provided 11,899 procedures to 1,906 patients with a value of more than $1.7 million!


Take a Walk Down Memory Lane With Us:

Behind the Scenes: Jacob and David working hard to get all of the workstations set up!
Day 2 in full effect … 200 veterans are about to walk in for their pre-screening.
Veterans pre-screened, meetings done, we are locked and loaded to start seeing 2,000 patients and provide high quality dental care to those in need. It all starts bright and early at 5 a.m. and won’t stop until a little after noon on Saturday!
Our CTO, Marty Cortines and Project Lead, Jacob!
Of course, we have a little fun along the way! Thanks for all your hard work, Clay (CEO)!
Last day, patients coming in.
And just like that, it ends … 1900 patients in 2 days.

Thank you to all the volunteers who selflessly dedicated their time and skills to the 2018 FLA-MOM! We could not have done this without your help and support!

We’ll see you in Orlando for the next FLA-MOM on March 22-23, 2019.

Reprinted with permission. This article first appeared on DentalPC’s blog and can be found at http://www.dentalpc.com/2018/03/2018-florida-mission-of-mercy/.

Dental Therapist False Promises Force Unfair Choice on Patients and Dentists

By Jane Grover, DDS, MPH, Director, Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations, American Dental Association

Many challenges keep people from visiting a dentist including, lack of oral health education, cost, fear of the dentist and a belief that they don’t need care. Dental therapists have failed to show meaningful results in addressing these barriers.

A handful of states created this provider to treat underserved patients, especially in rural areas. But these patients are more likely to have complex dental disease and health issues that require the skill and training of a dentist to diagnose and treat.

Despite the best intentions of connecting dental therapists to needier rural populations, they primarily practice in metropolitan areas.

Nationally, children have seen improvements in dental access with the gap in utilization between low-income children and high-income children narrowing in 49 states.

Poor children shouldn’t be stopped from seeing a dentist by a restructured system that redirects them to providers with less training than dentists. In Michigan, 80 percent of dentists participate in Healthy Kids Dental for Medicaid enrolled children. The proposed therapist model tries to fix a system that isn’t broken, relegating disadvantaged kids to a lesser standard of care.

Dental therapists are frequently cited as making dental care more affordable. But insurers and the states pay set fees for dental procedures no matter who performs them. In spite of having introduced dental therapists seven years ago, only 43 percent of Minnesota children with Medicaid visited a dentist in the past year compared to 48 percent nationally.

These programs are too expensive to survive without subsidies and mirror the Canadian program, which failed once government subsidies ended. Instead of having another provider to drill and fill teeth we should better connect patients with a fully-trained doctor of dentistry and utilizing the existing dental workforce.

The Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC), a community health worker, is a better option. They provide oral health education, disease prevention, help coordinate appointments and can reduce patient no-show rates from nearly 50 percent to below 10 percent.

Increasing access to care isn’t about increasing the number of providers, it’s about providing the right care, by the right provider at the right time.

This letter was originally published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Aug. 31, 2016, in response to the the Aug. 19 article, “You Don’t Have to be a Dentist to Fill A Cavity,” which proposed dental therapists as the solution to access to care issues. Note: In most cases, the WSJ requires a subscription to access its articles online.

The 2016 FLA-MOM is HERE!

By the FDA Foundation

The 2016 Florida Mission of Mercy (FLA-MOM) in Jacksonville is TOMORROW!

We have received such a wonderful response from our clinical and general volunteers — we are extremely grateful for their generous spirit to donate their time and skills to care for the citizens in the Jacksonville area. The FLA-MOM committee has gone to great lengths to make this a fantastic event for our volunteers, but most importantly, for our guests themselves — the patients we will be treating!

Over the course of the next two days, our amazing group of volunteers is supporting an effort that will make a life-changing impact for 3,000 community members. Clinical volunteers have a unique role in providing professional care and treatment for people who, for many reasons, lack access to care. The core clinical philosophy of the FLA-MOM is to improve the overall health of individuals by relieving pain and infection, restoring dignity and creating smiles.

On behalf of the FDA Foundation, its Board of Directors and the FLA-MOM planning committee, we would like to thank everyone involved from the bottom of our hearts.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook (Florida Dental Association) and Twitter (FDADental) — we will be posting throughout the event, and encouraging those involved to post using #FLAMOM.