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The LDA Foundation (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization), together with partners such as the Louisiana Dental Association (LDA), the LSU School of Dentistry and America's Dentists Care Foundation, hosts Mission of Mercy (MOM) programs.
The location is transformed into a large-scale dental clinic with the purpose of treating adults and children who have limited financial resources or are otherwise unable to visit a dental office. Over two days, volunteer dentists, hygienists, assistants, students and community workers from across the state of Louisiana provide services including exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings, anterior root canals, extractions and front teeth transitional partials. "LaMOM" is an incredible dental outreach event that takes patients on a first-come, first-served basis until we reached our capacity for the day. Our goal is to serve anyone willing to attend and participate.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 45% of adults nationwide have no dental insurance of any kind, and 42% of adults cited cost or lack of insurance as reasons for delaying or forgoing dental treatment. And though exact figures were not available, Louisiana's higher poverty rate and lower percentage of people with employer-paid health insurance indicate cost/insurance barriers to oral health care are even higher in Louisiana.
In 2015, our budget was approximately $130,000, but we were able to provide $1,008,389 worth of dental care because of the donation of time from the Louisiana dentists and other volunteers who participated at no cost.
On Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, the Louisiana Dental Association (LDA) participated with the American Dental Association (ADA) to host a Mission of Mercy (MOM) in New Orleans in conjunction with the ADA Annual Session. After a successful MOM in our home state, the LDA Foundation elected to host its own MOM in 2015 in Baton Rouge, the state's capitol and home of the LDA's central office staff.
2013 ADA Mission of Mercy New Orleans Photos
Stats provided by the America’s Dentists Care Foundation from the Nov. 3, 2013, MOM:
1,119 volunteers from 42 states
785 patient visits (there were 30 patients that made a second visit to the clinic)
$387,093.50 total care provided = $512.71 per patient
Youngest patient – age 1, oldest patient – age 92, average age 39.46, median age 39
2,835 procedures consisting of:
752 exams (755 medical triage exams – 3 failed, 30 return patient visits recorded, 10 people left between registration and medical, 10 people left after triage without receiving recommended treatment)
553 surgical procedures
205 fluoride treatments
17 endodontic procedures
8 denture repairs
7 add teeth
5 upper and 3 lower dentures
1 enamel plasty
1 palliative (emergency) treatment of dental pain
269 medications delivered onsite