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1,600 New Mexico residents given free dental treatments

Mar 16, 2012

Over 130 New Mexico dentists donated their professional services for a massive two-day dental clinic at the Las Cruces Convention Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico earlier this month. The result: 1,600 bigger and brighter smiles, many from people whom had not smiled in years.

Dentists provided services ranging from routine cleanings and oral surgery to root canals and other general dental procedures at the third annual Mission of Mercy event organized by the New Mexico Dental Foundation. The massive two-day event is the Dental Foundation’s largest charitable event and the largest charitable event in New Mexico.

Dental students from local colleges shadowed and lent a hand to the 130-plus dentists while a similar number of dental hygienists also assisted.

Patients treated during the popular two-day event ranged from young children who had never been to the dentist to senior citizens, including many who had not been to the dentists in several years. One woman wrote on a comments card that she had not visited a dentist in 20 years and was so grateful for the opportunity.

“You’ve probably never seen people so excited to have dental work performed,” said Michael Moxey, communications director for the New Mexico Dental Foundation. “People have said they’ll never forget what these dentists have done for them.”

Aside from the generosity and professionalism of the dentists, event organizers were also complimented for their coordination and organizational skills during the clinic. Considering so many patients were treated at the same time, many attending marveled at the level of care everyone received.

“I don’t think it’s a widely known fact that dentists everywhere and every single day are giving back to their communities in the form of pro bono dental care," New Mexico Dental Foundation Executive Director Linda Paul said. "The passion that (dental professionals) in our state have for giving back is very evident at an event like this."

In addition to the self-satisfaction derived from giving to others, many dentists participating at this year’s event admitted they enjoyed the camaraderie of other dentists from towns such as Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Alamogordo.

The first annual Mission of Mercy held in Albuquerque in 2010 was the largest charitable event in state history.  More than 2,200 patients were provided $1.3 million worth of dental care free of charge.

The New Mexico Dental Foundation was founded in 2005 and has grown to five times its original size in the last seven years. The foundation does outreach programs, activities and provides care for New Mexico’s less fortunate residents.

Sources: Las Cruces Sun-News, Dentistry IQ

Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC ©

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