Free dental care clinic coming to St. Joseph Friday

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The Missouri Dental Association (MDA) is hosting a free dental clinic in St. Joseph this week to provide dental care to those underserved in the area.

The MDA and MDA Foundation will host the state’s eighth Mission of Mercy clinic on August 16th.

Missouri Mission of Mercy Co-Chair Dr. Tim Curry says the clinic is open to anyone who needs dental care.

“It’s primarily designed for patients who are not receiving care for whatever reason. They may be indigent, they may not be, they may have one area, one concern that they have, but primarily we treat people who need extractions, fillings, or even a dental cleaning,” Curry said. “If you look at some of the information from around the state over the years, we have patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds, but it’s primarily to treat the underserved, that’s our mission.”

Curry says their budget is approximately $235,000. Part of the funding come from major donors from around the state along with local donations. Also, more than 700 volunteers donate their time for the event, which serves anywhere from 650 to 1,000 patients.

“We asked every dentist in northwest Missouri to donate $500 towards this event, besides their time and time out of the office, we asked them to do that and a lot of them did,” Curry said. “Food services in St. Joseph, grocery stores, service clubs in the area… we found the community to be very generous.”

Prescreening will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thursday and the clinic will open at 7 a.m. on Friday at the Civic Arena in St. Joseph. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone able to attend prescreening will complete a medical and dental screening to ensure they are healthy enough for treatment and to determine what dental work is needed. Prescreened patients will have the opportunity to be the first ones served at the clinic Friday morning.

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