The North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) is a portable free outreach program of the North Carolina Dental Health Fund. NCMOM’s mission is “To provide free dental services to those in financial need with few or no other options”.
The goals of the program are to:
– Provide free dental care to the underserved citizens of North
– Involve as much of the dental community of the state in the treatment
of the underserved as is possible.
The NCMOM program is a grassroots effort, dependent on volunteers, with funding from grants and donations. Since its beginning in 2003 the program has received national and statewide recognition.
The volunteers include dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and scores of professional and general volunteers from across the state. Additionally, the program enjoys a good relationship with the UNC School of Dentistry and its ENNEAD student volunteer organization, and the ECU School of Dental Medicine. Dental students participate as volunteer providers during each clinic and are an important part of the overall program.
In 2003, after observing a free dental program of the Virginia Dental Association, it was felt that such a program could be initiated here and be very successful.
Using equipment borrowed from Virginia at first, while procuring equipment with grants and donations from generous organizations, the 2-day clinics started here in NC in early 2004. Currently, NCMOM has enough equipment to set up an 80-chair full dental clinic including digital x-ray, sterilization, and all instrumentation and supplies.
Clinics generally provide care for 300 to 800 patients per 2-day event.