Free Dental Care for Rhode Islanders - Rhode Island Mission of Mercy to Be Held on May 30 and 31 at CCRI's Flanagan Campus in Lincoln
Regular dental visits provide a chance for early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases for people of all ages. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to see a dentist, whether it’s because of a lack of dental insurance, the inability to take time off from work, or simply not realizing that a healthy mouth is important to a healthy body.
In Rhode Island, only about 35% of adults age 21 and older covered by Medicaid have visited a dentist. Low-income adults are almost twice as likely to go without a dental checkup than higher income adults. Many people suffer in silence or turn to hospital emergency rooms, which are very expensive and often do not provide definitive care.
In order to address the unmet oral health needs in our state, Rhode Islanders have come together through the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy (RIMOM) free dental clinic. On the weekend of May 30 and May 31, the Community College of Rhode Island's Dental Hygiene and Assisting clinics at the Lincoln campus will be transformed into a fully operational large-scale free dental clinic staffed with hundreds of dental, medical and community volunteers who will graciously give their time, talent and clinical expertise to provide dental services to over 1000 patients.
The RIMOM addresses patients’ most urgent oral health needs, and places a high priority on patients suffering from infections or pain. During the free clinic, dental services are provided on a first come-first served basis, and include cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, x-rays, oral health education, fillings, tooth extractions, root canal treatments, and partial dentures.
What makes this event even more special is that non-traditional groups become partners and collaborators. Medical providers, oral health providers, pharmacists, state agencies, higher education, community based health and human service agencies, hospitals, health centers, banks, corporations, insurers, small businesses, as well as hundreds of individual volunteers from communities all across the Rhode Island will join forces for this 2 day event.
Last year, the 2014 RIMOM provided over 3,388 procedures like cleanings and fluoride treatments, x-rays, fillings, extractions, root canals, dentures and denture repairs, and oral cancer screenings. The total value of donated services over the course of the weekend was $474,220. Perhaps the biggest success is that people got the help they needed. For example, of the 776 patients served, 251 of them arrived in pain and had been in pain for an average time of 289 days. After visiting RIMOM, many people left with a reason to smile.
If you are a medical, dental, or pharmacy professional
- we need you! Without your help, the RIMOM would not be possible. Please visit http://www.RIMOM.org
for information on becoming a volunteer.
If you are someone who is in need of dental care - the RIMOM may be able to help.