UPDATED Friday, June 29, 2012--5p.m.
MADISON--At the Alliant Energy Center today and tomorrow the Mission of Mercy will be offering dental care free of charge to folks. We're told by one volunteer that this is the largest charitable dental event in the country.
We've heard from several people that there were long lines lined up early this morning, some even started showing up yesterday.
One volunteer said they're easily going to see a couple thousand patients between Friday and Saturday.
All the workers are volunteering their expertise and so again, all of this is free of charge.
We did catch up with one patient who came up here in the early morning hours all the way from Janesville. "I got new teeth made and it turned out to be an incredible day," said Dan Schuler, a patient on Friday. "I have never seen that many people waiting to see the dentist in my entire life, it was just beautiful."
One dentist told us they really do see a lot of extreme dental needs. He said for a lot of these folks this is the only chance they have to get something done.
UPDATED Friday, June 29, 2012 --- 12:10 p.m.
More than 1,500 volunteers from 222 Wisconsin communities will be in Madison, Wis. June 29 – 30 to provide $1.75 million in free dental care to some 3,000 children and adults during the fourth Wisconsin Dental Association and WDA Foundation Mission of Mercy.
This will be the largest charitable dental clinic ever staged in the United States.
Cleanings, fillings, extractions, partial dentures and basic oral health and dietary instruction will be provided by volunteer dentists, dental hygienists and assistants, Marquette University School of Dentistry students and community helpers. Volunteer Spanish and Hmong translators will also be available.
Doors to the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, open at 5:30 a.m. There are no appointments with care provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Early arrival is encouraged, because available patient slots usually fill by 10 a.m.
Adults and children with limited financial resources or who are otherwise unable to visit a dental office and do not have a medically-compromising condition, such as extremely high blood pressure or severe disabilities that prohibits safely receiving care, are welcome.
No photo identification, Social Security number or other personal documentation is required. A parent or guardian must accompany children under 18.
For the second year and only in the Badger State, 50 Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes will be among WDA Mission of Mercy patients.
Major financial and in-kind support is provided by Delta Dental of Wisconsin, Henry Schein Dental, Meriter, Patterson Dental, Tellier Foundation, Alliant Energy Center, Epic, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, UW Health and Dane County Dental Society.
More than 70 organizations and individuals will make tax-deductible financial and in-kind donations to help cover $250,000 in costs for dental equipment and facility rental, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food for this major charitable dental care event which includes one day each for setup and cleanup.
For every dollar received, WDA dentists and other MOM volunteers donate $6 – $8 in care. More than 5,600 people have received $2.8 million in free care at WDA Mission of Mercy events since 2009.
Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2012 --- 8:15p.m.
People lined up outside the Alliant Energy Center in the heat, all to see the dentist. They're waiting for the doors to open to the Mission of Mercy, the largest charitable dental clinic ever staged in the United States.
The exhibition hall will be transformed into a 200-chair mobile dental clinic. Doctors are expecting to help some 3,000 patients in just two days.
The clinic opens at 5:30 Friday morning and runs until early evening. It'll be open those same hours on Saturday as well.