Free Dental Clinic Planned At Arena
Two free dental services events will be held June 7-8 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Twp. with the goal of treating about 2,000 patients.
Kingston dentist Dr. Richard Grossman, local chairman, called the two-day event a “tremendous undertaking.”
The Dental Mission Of Mercy in Pennsylvania and the 3rd District Dental Society of the Pennsylvania Dental Association, which represents dentists in Northeast Pennsylvania, will host the events.
Mission of Mercy in Pennsylvania, also called MOM-n-PA, aims to provide donated dental care to relieve pain for thousands. Many patients are working families who do not qualify for assistance or cannot afford dental insurance and might otherwise have no hope of receiving care.
According to the American Dental Association, one in three adults have no form of dental benefit coverage.
Although the Affordable Health Care Act was implemented in 2010, it does not address dental services for the adult population.
Grossman said a number of senior citizens don’t have dental coverage and he expects to see a number of them waiting in line for free services.
Northeast Pennsylvania has an unusually high need for dental services since very few community water systems are fluoridated. Most of these patients have significant oral disease which requires several visits in order to relieve them of their pain or discomfort.
During the event, dentists and other volunteers will aim to address the patient’s most urgent needs including dental cleanings, X-rays, fillings, root canal therapy, extractions and in some cases, temporary tooth replacement.
Patients will be educated on how to maintain proper oral hygiene and how to improve their diet. They also will receive information about available services and programs as well as information and tools to assist them in establishing a dental home for themselves and their families.
Dentists, endodontists, dental hygienists, pediatric dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, prosthodontists, periodontists, expanded function dental assistants, emergency personnel, nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and many other volunteers will be on hand throughout the event.
Grossman, who also volunteers at the Volunteers in Medicine dental clinic in Wilkes-Barre, said dentists and patients come from all over to attend.
He volunteered at another free dental event last year in Reading and said nearly 2,000 people waited in line in the rain to receive free dental care.
He previously volunteered at free dental events in Pittsburgh and Erie as well and patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Volunteers will be at Mohegan Sun Arena 7 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5.
“We sure can treat them,” Grossman said. “We don’t ask any questions about income.”
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