MOM-n-PA is a two-day free dental clinic that targets the working poor, children and people who are eligible for Medicare but haven’t signed up. In the video, Dr William Spruill narrates how the organization provides dental care at no cost to thousands of patients yearly, most of whom would not be able to afford the fees charged at orthodontic clinics.
The importance of regular dental care can not be overemphasized. It helps to diagnose problems whilst still manageable, which is crucial because dental care is an essential aspect of overall health. The mouth is an entry point to the digestive and respiratory systems; hence if oral health is neglected, infection-causing bacteria can cause disease in these systems as well.
MOM-n-PA operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no need for patients to sign up or register for the program. All that’s encouraged is that they show up on time as there will sometimes be more than a thousand people that need to be examined and treated.
The program accepts different volunteers, from Dentists, Pedriatic specialists, Nurses, Dental Hygienists, Dental assistants and non-medical personnel to escort patients. At each event, hundreds of volunteers are needed. Having more volunteers means work will be done quicker and more efficiently, enabling the organization to help larger numbers of patients. However, unlike patients, volunteers are required to sign up in advance.
Since they started operations in 2013, MOM-n-PA has helped over 10 000 patients. All this has been achieved with the help and contribution of various sponsors and many committed volunteers. As much as the program needs dental professionals, there is also a need for support on the financial side of things. Thousands of dollars are required to cater to expenses incurred during these free dental missions. To operate efficiently, dental equipment needs to be purchased and maintained, they also need to buy food, and water for both the volunteers and patients waiting in line. Apart from that, there is a hoard of other numerous expenses that need to be covered.
While there is no registration needed before the event, there is a maximum number of people that can be treated in one day. Therefore, each patient should be registered as they arrive, and they will be attended to on a first-come, first-serve basis. No additional patients will be treated once the total number of patients seen a day has been registered. Patients should, therefore be ready to wait in line for several hours before they can see a dentist.