Free Dental Clinic Helps Struggling Oklahomans Get Critical Care

Saturday, February 7th 2015, 8:46 pm
By: News On 6

Thousands of volunteers and patients filled the Cox Business Center over the last two days for sixth annual Mission of Mercy free dental clinic.

For many, it is the only opportunity they will get to receive the critical care they desperately need.

"I'm grateful and thankful for Oklahoma MOMs.. it's wonderful," Rebecca Townsend said.

Oklahoma MOMs - or Mission of Mercy - is something Townsend waited on for hours Saturday.

"It's been a little bit of a wait,” she said. “But they fed us and made us comfortable, so it's been really good."

Townsend and her daughter Yasmine are just two of more than 2,000 people that will be seen over the two-day run of the free clinic.

2/6/2015 Related Story: Thousands Get Free Dental Care At 6th Annual 'Mission Of Mercy' In Tulsa

"We look at them as being our guests in our dental home,” Dentist Dr. Rieger Wood said. “We try to do the best we can with what we have to make their lives better."

Cleanings, fillings, root canals and extractions -- they did it all.

"When we all get together and work it's amazing what can come down the pike,” Wood said.

Many don't have dental insurance - and the free clinic is their only hope for the care they need.

"Just keep suffering with the tooth pain or find a dentist with Sooner Care to pull my teeth,” Townsend said. “This time I get to keep my teeth."

The food and some of the equipment for the 92 chair clinic was donated.

There are dentists, dental students and volunteers all pitching in for the cause.

"They understand the value of giving back and that is what is rewarding,” Wood said. “We are training these students and teaching them the importance of giving back to community."

Since 2010, the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy has provided dental care for close to 9,000 patients, totaling $5.5 million in donated dental services.