Patient Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mission of Mercy (MOM)?
The Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM) is a large-scale dental clinic that provides free oral health care to patients ages 5+ who cannot otherwise afford or access care. MOM events across America have helped more than 135,000 patients and have provided nearly $76 million in free dental services since 2000.
Do I need to make an appointment?
There will be no appointments made for the general clinic. Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis until we reach our capacity for the day. Our capacity is determined by the number of professional dental volunteers present and cannot be predicted in advance of our event.
If I volunteer at a MOM event, can I get treatment as a patient?
Volunteering at MOMOM does not guarantee treatment or preferential advantage as a patient. If you need dental treatment, make that your first priority and come to MOMOM as a patient. We appreciate your desire to give back, but we will have enough volunteers to operate the clinic.
What should I expect if I attend MOMOM?
Arrive as soon as you can and be prepared for a full day. Here is the likely process you will go through:
- Waiting in line both outdoors and indoors. We appreciate your patience.
- Filling out basic patient registration forms. (Volunteers will be available to assist you with these forms.)
- Participating in a basic medical screening to determine if you are healthy enough to receive treatment.
- Participating in a basic dental screening to determine which procedure can be done.
- Waiting in designated areas for your procedure(s) for the day.
- Receiving treatment from a dental professional.
- Checking out and receiving follow-up instructions.
What is the length of time I should expect for my experience at MOMOM?
You should expect to spend the majority of your day with us. By the time you wait in line, have your medical screening, dental screening and treatment completed, it could be a 6-8 hour (or longer) event. Please be prepared for that amount of time. You will have access to rest rooms and we will provide light snacks and water.
What should I bring with me to MOMOM?
We recommend the following:
- List of current medications.
- One day supply of your regular medications.
- It is a long day and it is best to leave children at home with somebody.
- Snacks and water.
- Patience and a good attitude.
Can I smoke anywhere at the event?
NO. The University of Missouri is a smoke-free campus indoors and outdoors. Please read the smoking policy and plan accordingly. Thank you for your assistance in following the policy.
POLICY: No smoking is permitted on any university property, in any university-owned buildings or in university-leased buildings or vehicles. The policy applies to every person who comes to the University of Missouri campus, including visitors, faculty, staff, volunteers, students, alumni, contractors and service representatives. The policy prohibits the smoking of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookahs and water pipes. Violation of the policy is defined as smoking any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Can I have treatment if I'm pregnant?
Receiving dental care while pregnant is safe for most women. Maintaining good oral health during pregnancy is important. If you are pregnant, we ask that you bring a written note from your OB/GYN noting concerns or recommendations regarding dental treatment. If your OB/GYN has concerns, you may wish to seek regular dental care at a clinic other than MOMOM. You can find a list of clinics for low-income and underserved individuals at www.modental.org/cliniclist.
What should I do if my doctor recommends premedication for dental treatment?
Follow your primary care provider's instructions and inform the health care professionals and dentists as you go through the screening process. Premedication does not eliminate you from receiving care. We will have appropriate medications available for you at no cost.
What if I need pain medication or antibiotics?
Appropriate non-narcotic pain medications and antibiotics will be dispensed as directed by our clinicians. There will be no narcotics on the premises.
Do I need insurance?
No. This is a completely free event. Because of the generosity of our volunteers and event sponsors, we will not be filing insurance or charging patients for the services.
Is there anything that would disqualify me from receiving treatment?
Each patient will undergo a simple medical screening at the start of your MOMOM experience. Some things that could prevent you from being treated include:
- Fever at the time of treatment.
- Uncontrolled or abnormally high blood pressure.
- Abnormally high or uncontrolled blood sugar levels (if you are diabetic).
- A history of excessive bleeding or too thin of blood. (Those on blood thinner medications should talk to their doctor before seeking dental treatment. Patients on Coumadin/Warfarin should bring a current INR card. Patients on Xarelto or Eliquis should consider stopping their medication 2 doses prior to treatment but not before talking to their doctor first.
- Currently taking medications to suppress your immune system.
- Other significant health issues (i.e. recent heart surgery/attack, undergoing cancer treatment, etc.)
Can someone come with me while I am being treated?
You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you to MOMOM. They can accompany you while outside the clinic, but we require them to stay in the family/friends waiting area once you enter the building. You will be able to rejoin them after you are finished.
Who will be providing the treatment at MOMOM?
All care will be provided by volunteer licensed dentists and hygienists as well as dental assistants.
There are multiple people in my family who need to be seenâ€”is that possible at MOMOM?
We can treat multiple adult family members, but there are some things to consider.
- Once inside the clinic, do not plan on being able to stay together through the entire process.
- If you are a parent seeking treatment, please leave your children at home with somebody.
- No childcare is available.
- We have a pediatric clinic for ages 5-18 that is separate from the adult clinic. We require at least one parent/guardian to always be with children younger than 18.
- Adults accompanying children who are receiving treatment should not plan on getting treatment themselves.
Is there a limit as to how much treatment I can receive?
Our first priority will be to treat your most critical dental need. One of our volunteer dentists will meet with you and determine how we can help you best. The purpose of this type of clinic is to eliminate pain/infection by treating your most urgent dental need and to help as many individuals as possible.
Will there be translators?
We will have some volunteer translators. Due to the volunteer nature of the clinic, it is hard to know how many translators and/or signers for the hearing impaired will be available at MOMOM. If you are a translator and want to volunteer for our event, please register online. A family member can accompany a patient to help translate.
Are pets allowed at the MOMOM event?
Only ADA service animals will be permitted in the facility. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. If the animal meets this definition, they are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
I'm not from Missouri. Can I still receive services at MOMOM?
Yes. We do not determine who can receive care based on where they live. We will help as many individuals as time and supplies allow. All services at MOMOM are on a first come, first served basis until we reach our capacity each day.
I am in quite a bit of pain, should I wait to be treated at MOMOM?
No. If you are experiencing abnormal to severe pain, you should seek immediate treatment. If you do not have access to a dentist, please go to the nearest dental emergency room; if that's unavailable, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. You can find a list of clinics for low-income and underserved individuals at www.modental.org/cliniclist.
I'd like to tell others about this event. How can I promote it?
If you are interested in sharing with other individuals or organizations who may benefit from this charitable effort (as a patient), please download the Patient Information Flier and post where others may see it. If you are interested in volunteering at MOMOM or encouraging others to do so, please download the MOMOM Volunteer Flier and post where others may see it.
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