Wisconsin Dental Association: Mission of Mercy bringing free dental care to Walworth County

CONTACT: Carol S. Weber, APR, Director of Public Relations
PHONE: 414-755-4108 (direct); 414-315-9321 (cell)
EMAIL: cweber@wda.org

WEST ALLIS – The Wisconsin Dental Association and WDA Foundation will bring the fifth WDA Mission of Mercy to Walworth County on June 28 and 29 to provide free dental care to children and adults who have limited financial resources or are otherwise unable to visit a dental office.

The doors to Badger High School, 220 E. South St. in Lake Geneva, will open at 5:30 a.m. both days. Early arrival is encouraged, because available patient slots are typically filled by 8 a.m.

About 1,000 patients will be seen each day on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no appointments.

Individuals of all ages are welcome. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

There is no photo identification, Social Security number or other personal documentation required. However, medically-compromising conditions, such as extremely high blood pressure or severe disabilities may prohibit an individual from receiving care.

An estimated $1 million in cleanings, fillings, extractions, limited treatment partials and personal oral hygiene education will be provided through 2,000 or more patient encounters. The free care will be delivered by more than 1,000 volunteers, including dentists, dental hygienists and assistants, Marquette University School of Dentistry students and community members.

Major financial and in-kind support is provided by Delta Dental of Wisconsin Charitable Fund, Henry Schein Dental, Walmart Foundation and Walworth County. Delta Dental and Henry Schein have supported all five WDA MOM programs.

At least 55 organizations and individuals have made tax-deductible financial and in-kind donations to help cover $190,000 in costs for equipment and facility rental, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food for this major charitable dental care event which includes one day each for set up and clean up.

WDA dentists and other MOM volunteers donate $6 – $8 in care for every dollar received. More than 9,000 children and adults have received $4.6 million in care at WDA Missions of Mercy since 2009.

“Research shows oral health is critical to overall health. Ensuring residents have proper dental care is important to our state economically and socially,” said WDA President Dr. Timothy Durtsche of La Crosse, Wis.

“Mission of Mercy is only one example of how dentists serve their communities and meet some individuals’ urgent dental needs. However, charity is not a solution. The WDA has proposed ‘Healthy Choices’ for reducing barriers to dental care across our state. We look forward to working with lawmakers on positive, viable and bipartisan solutions,” he added.