HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) – Continuing a volunteer effort providing millions of dollars’ worth of free dental care for many who may not otherwise get it, the Kansas Mission of Mercy (KMOM) free dental clinic is set for Friday and Saturday in Hays. As is the case every year with different cities hosting the clinic, it’s expected to draw patients from all over the state.
The Mission of Mercy will offer the free dental care Friday and Saturday at the Ellis County Fairgrounds, marking the first time Hays is hosting the clinic. Doors open at 5:30 a.m. both days.
“It’s first come, first serve and we treat patients of all ages. And people can expect to get cleanings, fillings and extractions, based on what their primary need is,” said Kansas Mission of Mercy Director Niki Sadler.
There are some limitations with the clinic. The Kansas Mission of Mercy will not be able to provide patients dentures or any treatment requiring a lab due to the timeframe.
Putting on the event will be about 565 volunteers with about 90 dentists helping to provide car.
“This is the best part of K-MOM is every single patient being able to walk out and get the care that they need,” Sadler said.
She said access to dental care is important.
“Especially coming out of COVID where a lot of people may have lost jobs and as such lost insurance, or maybe people haven’t had insurance before as far as covering dental,” Sadler said.
Among those volunteering for Kansas Mission of Mercy is Wichita dentist Dr. Robert Dakin. He said the care is life-changing for many, especially for those with infections that could be life-threatening with an inability to chew their food or having a serious infection impacting other parts of their health.
It’s anticipated that nearly $1 million of dental will be provided in Hays Friday and Saturday at no cost. Organizers and volunteers say lending a helping hand to those in need of care is what makes the Kansas Mission of Mercy clinic so special.
“I think that is probably where I get my most hugs. At K-MOM is when we spend time and actually rebuild somebody’s smile for them and they can’t believe what they see in the mirror after that,” Dr. Dakin said.
“If we can help just one person, it makes a big difference,” Sadler added.
There are no eligibility, income or residency requirements. No appointments are needed as this is a first-come, first-served event. Organizers say if you plan on attending, be prepared to wait several hours as hundreds of patients will be treated each day. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at no charge, but patients are encouraged to bring snacks and water.
Children can be scheduled at https://kmomkids.as.me/schedule.php.
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