Links & FAQs
- America's Dentists Care Foundation Missions of Mercy
George's County Board of Health
- Calvert County Health Department
- American Dental Association
- Maryland State Dental Association
- Virginia Mission of Mercy
- St. Mary's County Health Department
- Charles County Department of Health
- University of Maryland Center for Health Equity
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ. What is a “Mission of Mercy”(or MOM)?
Mission of Mercy is a gathering of volunteer dental professionals who, along with a volunteer staff of several hundred, hold free, two day dental clinics at locations around the country.
Q. When did MOM begin?
In July 2000, the Virginia Dental Health Foundation launched the first Mission of Mercy (MOM) Project. The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Denistry, in conjunction with the Virginia Dental Assocaiton and the Virginia Health Care Foundation, formed a partnership to provide dental care for the uninsured and underserved populations of Virginia. Since then, thousands of patients in a growing number of states have been served. Virginia and Texas run multiple events each year. Maryland is home to four MOM events hosted in Western Maryland, Mid-Maryland, Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland, with two occuring each year. Cumberland was the site for the first Maryland MOM in October 2010.
Q. What is a MOM event like?
Every event takes on its own personality, however there are some common traits:
- Over 100 volunteer dental professionals
- Several hundred lay-volunteers
- Patients line up in the middle of the night hoping to receive services
- All services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis
- Doors typically open at 7:00 AM and close a few hours later as the facility fills up with patients
- Hundreds of patients are treated, with the total value of services equaling hundreds of thousands of dollars
There is no cost to the patient, no insurance form, nothing. It is free.
Q. Who pays for everything?
The dental organizations of the state where the event is held raise private donations to cover the entire cost of the event. Donations may come in the form of funds, supplies, donated meals and/or snacks, tables and chairs, badges, forms, and a variety of other support items. If you'd like to donate, see our donations page.
Q. What services are provided?
Services may vary from one event to another, but typically a MOM event will offer cleanings, fillings, extractions, some oral surgery, root canals and oral hygiene education. Triage dentists will determine what services can be offered to the patient.
Q. Who is eligible to be treated?
Only ADULTS, 18 years old or older are eligible to be treated. There are no restrictions unless the patient can not be treated because of a medical reason. No children are permitted within the clinic and will be asked to leave the premises.
Q. Is transportation provided to patients?
No transportation will be provided to the clinic, however we encourage patients to use www.wmata.com to help plan their trip to the Comcast/Xfinity Center.
Q. What should I bring?
Nothing is required, however we encourage patients to bring some form of identification, their medical history, and any x-rays or medication they are currently taking. This will assist the doctors and dentists in assessing each patient.
Q. What if the patient needs pain medication or antibiotics?
There is always a pharmacy at the event to dispense pain medications and antibiotics as prescribed by the treating dentist. There will be no narcotics on site.
Q. What if a patient needs additional treatment?
To assure that all patients that require necessary follow-up treatment are cared for, arrangements may be made with local dentists to care for these individuals. These follow-up services will only include necessary follow up from services provided at the event. They will not include additional and/or non-emergency services. A list of additional dental resources will also be provided to patients at the event.
Q. Who can volunteer?
All adults ages 18 and older may volunteer for the event. You do not need special medical or dental training in order to volunteer.
Q. Can my group volunteer for the event?
Groups are welcome to participate in the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival. At this time, there is no group sign-up for volunteers. Each member of your group is asked to sign him/herself up as they must read and acknowledge the waiver during online volunteer registration.
Volunteers are needed to assist in every aspect of the event. “General Volunteers” help with tasks such as monitoring the patient line, patient check-in/out, volunteer check-in/out, patient escorts, hospitality, IT support, translators, etc. “Clinical Dental/Medical” volunteers (licensed professionals or students working towards a degree in dentistry or medicine) provide direct patient care: medical pre-screen, dental triage, x-rays, dental services and post-op.
Q. I want to volunteer but I don’t know which roles I am allowed to volunteer for.
Unless you are a licensed medical or dental professional, or are a student working towards a degree in a medical or dental field, you are considered a “General Volunteer.” Please select “General Volunteer” on your volunteer registration.
If you are a licensed medical or dental professional, you may select “Clinical Dental/Medical” on your volunteer registration. Dental and medical professionals licensed in the state of Maryland must submit their license information during registration for verification. If you are licensed outside of the state of Maryland, you will need to submit an application for a temporary Maryland license. You will be provided this link during registration.
Below are some general guidelines about who can serve in what capacity.
Hygienists: Those with a dental hygiene degree and a current, unrestricted dental hygienist license may volunteer in the following areas: hygiene, assisting, and radiology.
Dental Assistants: May assist in dental triage, hygiene, restorative, oral surgery, endodontics, radiology, and sterilization/supplies.
Students: Dental, dental hygienist, dental assistant, pharmacy and medical students may volunteer for various clinical and non-clinical volunteer work areas. Clinical roles include assisting in: medical pre-screen, hygiene, restorative, oral surgery, endodontics, radiology; sterilization/supplies; pharmacy; or post-op. Please check with your school about specific restrictions on which area(s) you may serve in.
Dental Equipment Maintenance: Individuals with appropriate training and experience are needed to set up, maintain, and tear down dental equipment.
LPN, RN, Nursing Students, Physician, Physician Assistants, and Nurse's Aid: May conduct a medical history and check blood pressure and blood glucose levels during the medical pre-screen.
If you have any questions about the areas in which you can serve, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.