Free dental clinic comes to Columbia

2 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Friday, July 31 2015 Jul 31, 2015 Friday, July 31, 2015 7:32:00 AM CDT July 31, 2015 in News
By: Landon Burke, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Volunteers opened the doors of MU's Hearnes Center Friday at 5 a.m. to offer free dental care to people in need. Dentists and volunteers from all over the state met in Columbia to host the MOMOM free dental health clinic this weekend.

"MOMOM" stands for Missouri Mission of Mercy, a non-for-profit organization that provides dental care to those who could not afford it otherwise.

Lori Henderson, a Columbia pediatric dentist, and the local chairperson for the 2015 MOMOM clinic, said people who are able to go to the dentist regularly often do not appreciate the importance of dental health.

"It's really hard to have a healthy diet, or be a happy, healthy person when you have chronic oral health problems," Henderson said. She said sometimes a simple "toothache" can become a serious infection if never treated. She said some of the people who come to the MOMOM clinic have been in serious pain for months.

The first MOMOM free dental clinic was in Springfield, Missouri in 2011. Last year it was held in St. Louis. However 2015 is the first year for the clinic in Columbia.

Henderson said Columbia was a good choice for the next host city because of its size and its location in the middle of the state.

"We are one of the bigger cities in Mid-Missouri, and this event reaches out to all of Mid-Missouri, and Missouri as well," Henderson said.

But she said in years past, organizers had trouble getting enough volunteers at the host cities. However MOMOM had no problem finding lots of volunteers in Columbia.

"We had amazing leadership here," Henderson said. "We had an excellent group of people with deep ties to a variety of people here in Mid-Missouri." She said getting enough good volunteers is important because the clinic could not go on without them.

Henderson said people come from all corners of the state to receive care, and many of them will stand in line for hours.

One of the patients waiting outside said she got to the clinic at 3 p.m. the day before the doors opened. She said in her 15-hour wait, she passed time by playing cards, and talking to other people who were waiting. She said her wait will have been well worth it if it meant she could get her cracked tooth fixed.

By the combined effort of around 200 dentists and 800 additional volunteers, MOMOM coordinators hope to provide care to 2000 people this weekend, roughly over 100 each hour.

However, even with all the volunteers, Henderson said the clinic will not be able to help everyone in need.

"The oral health problems of adults in Mid-Missouri is severe enough that we will probably turn people away when we hit our capacity," Henderson said.

However she said they will do what they can to help as many people as possible before the clinic ends Saturday at 5 p.m.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A House investigatory committee has expanded its membership for a special session to determine whether... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 12:00:47 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ROLLA (AP) — A Missouri University of Science and Technology student has been sentenced to seven years in prison... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 11:40:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri is planning a 400-megawatt wind farm in rural northeast Missouri, creating... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 10:44:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — Authorities say a man's body was found in southeast Missouri and the case appears to... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 8:48:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – With a new terminal on the way, comes more possible changes to Columbia Regional Airport. A public... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:55:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council will address an ordinance Monday on whether to approve of a special August election... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:41:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The MU Board of Curators voted today to increase tuition by 2.1 percent for the 2018-2019 school year.... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 11:00:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
MARSHALL - A standoff between Marshall police and an armed man ended without injury. According to a news release,... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:53:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - The city of Rocheport honored two men on Sunday whose legacy has stretched across the state of Missouri.... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 7:09:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at the 16th annual Fire Fighters Memorial Service on Sunday. The service was... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is taking to social media to spread awareness of National Safe Boating Week... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
FULTON - All 6-year-old Sam Santhuff wanted to do was comfort children in the hospital, even though he was there... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released the identities of the three people killed and the two... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Children in Columbia have a chance to get paid to play. Columbia Parks and Recreation started its... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:10:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
HAVANA (AP) — The Latest on the crash in Cuba of a passenger jet with 113 people on board (all... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 5:23:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Over 90 people showed up at the Burr Oak Brewery for an afternoon of puppies, yoga and beer... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 4:50:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Although it is nowhere near Halloween, some Columbia runners faced their fears by participating in a zombie-themed 5K... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia has been ranked a top-ten affordable college town to live in by realtor.com. Factors... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:41:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
3pm 77°
4pm 76°
5pm 77°
6pm 76°