DCDS Foundation teamed up with Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation to bring their Texas Mission of Mercy’s (TMOM) mobile clinic to Dallas over Veteran’s Day weekend. DCDS Foundation’s primary role was to encourage a network of caring dentists, dedicated community members and generous sponsors to provide free dental care to North Texas veterans.
Pre-screenings of approximately 250 veterans in dire need were completed in Dallas at the Veterans Resource Center, Dr. Mary Swift’s office, and Dr. Erwin Tang’s office prior to the TMOM weekend. Dallas County Dental Society member dentists and staff volunteered at these locations to determine dental work needed and prep the veterans.
Mary Swift, DDS, chaired the DCDS Foundation pre-screening efforts for TMOM. “I would love to thank the volunteers who helped with the pre-screen. Pre-screening allowed us to deliver a record breaking number of removable units. I think it is obvious from the number of removable cases we completed that there is a desperate need for dental care for veterans.”
The pre-screened individuals were joined at the TMOM weekend event by an additional 300+ individuals who were provided basic dental care such as cleanings, fillings and extractions. Held at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center, this clinic brought much-needed oral health care to our nation’s heroes who do not receive basic dental care as part of their government care. TDA Smiles Foundation stated that $622,888 of charitable dental services were provided to 561 patients at the event. Hundreds of individuals from all over the state joined DCDS member dentists in volunteering their time and talents.
TDA Smiles Foundation hosts four TMOM clinics a year traveling across the state to provide free dental care to uninsured Texans in underserved parts of the state. Services are provided on a first come, first served basis, and turnout at mobile clinics is usually high. This is the seventh time that DCDS Foundation has assisted with the TMOM clinic in Dallas, twice focusing on serving our U.S. veterans and their families.
“The veterans we saw were very appreciative of our help,” explains Dr. Swift. “Along with providing care for those in need, we also demonstrated to our legislators dentistry’s capability to take care of underserved populations.”
On the weekend of the TMOM event, Dr. Sloan Hildebrand oversaw the volunteer dentists, while Dr. Michael Rainwater oversaw the removeables labs. “Many thanks are due to the hard workers who provided lab work on-site and off-site for the event, including Affordable Dentures & Implants, Dental Plus Laboratory and Griffin Dental Lab, Inc.” explains Dr. Rainwater. “One hundred and two removable units were made, with over 25% of those full or full immediate dentures; plus approximately twenty additional procedures such as relines and repairs.”
Lab volunteers (at right) never seemed to take a break, working all day Friday and Saturday to provide removeable prosthetics for our veterans in need. Here’s the a glimpse of the results (pictured below left to right):
Ms. Flora was excited to show off her new full maxillary and mandible partial, stating that she never smiled so she had to practice prior to taking photo. She was seen on Friday and almost couldn’t get her work done as she didn’t have transportation to return next day for additional try-ins. One of our volunteers (Eric) picked her up so she could have treatment. Right after she received her dentures, she called her brother and said, “You won’t believe my smile!”
New dentures made a big impact on Daryl. “I thought this would never happen!” were his words when he received not only the needed repair on a mandibular partial but a brand new maxillary denture as well. His previous was broken in many pieces, and coated with his failed attempts to repair with superglue.
Bobby came in from Tyler with his veterans group. He works as a cook, and now can serve up a big smile with his food.
James, a proud Veteran, attended a pre-screening in dire need of dental care. Dr. Jon Williamson (shown on left with James) found a lab to fabricate full dentures, which were delivered at the Veterans TMOM.
Frank’s big grin says it all!