On Feb 1-2 The Oklahoma Dentist Association will hold their fourth annual Oklahoma Mission of Mercy at the Great Plains Coliseum.

The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy is two-day event dentists from around the state will provide a variety of dental services for free.

Todd Bridges, DDS 2013 Chair and ODA President stated in a press conference that the services will include cleanings, fillings and extractions, as well as a limited number of anterior root canals and visible wisdom teeth extractions.

The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy co-chair and ODA President C. Todd Bridges posed with a patient at the 2012 McAlester OkMOM. Image courtesy of The Oklahoma Dental Association

“We’ll have anywhere between 150 and 250 dentist, there will be general dentist, endodonist and oral and maxillofacial surgery specialist that will come in and do general dentistry, extract teeth and provide root canal therapy,” Bridges said.

According to a press release provided by OK Mission of Mercy organization, Oklahoma ranked worst in the U.S for the lowest percentage of adults visiting a dentist. The press release also states that main reason the state ranks so low is because mainly people cannot afford basic care needed to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

“Many Oklahomans prioritize their needs and simply are not able to budget for proper dental care,” Bridges said. “This event allows us to treat people who may otherwise continue to put off a dental appointment until a toothache becomes unbearable and results in infection or worse.”

During the past three years that the ODA has held this event patients have left feeling thankful that the organization is doing what they can to provide those that do not have the proper insurance or the funds to receive the care they need.

Amber Cooper was a former patient from last year’s Mission of Mercy which was held in McAlester

“I am so grateful for everything these wonderful people are doing,” Cooper said. “Not just for me, but for everyone out there that is not able to have insurance or afford dental work to be done.

Bridges explained that the OK Mission for Mercy actually originated from Virginia and the idea has expanded to 30 states nationwide.

Since its inception in 2010 the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy has treated 5,739 patients using $82,053,935 in donated dental services.

The Delta Dental of Oklahoma Oral Health Foundation, one of the many sponsors of the event works to improve the oral health and President and CEO John E. Gladden stated that the Mission of Mercy matches their core mission and that he is proud to donate to the event every year.

“The success we achieved the past three years speaks to our core mission to provide support to dental health outreach and charitable programs statewide that work to improve the oral health of the underserved,” Gladden said.

The event will begin at 5 a.m., Feb 1. There are no eligibility, insurance or income requirements to receive dental care. The event is open to public and appointments will not be accepted.

OKMOM does state that they expect a big turnout for this event so come be prepared to wait.