Good oral health is critical to a person’s overall health. Tooth decay and gum disease are linked with heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and premature births. Many people in our community can’t afford dental care, so they suffer from poor oral health that affects their ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch and eat. That’s why the Central Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy is such an important event for Arizona.
The event provides free dental services to people in need. Last year about 2,000 people were able to get services. This year’s Mission of Mercy takes place Friday, December 12, and Saturday, December 13, at the Arizona Fairgrounds. There’ll be about 100 portable dental units and 1,500 volunteers that will provide more than $1 million in free care to children and adults.
We’re supporting the event through Title V funds and several of our staff volunteered to provide health information about our programs and services to the patients. Maricopa County Public Health will be providing flu vaccinations to participants. A huge thanks to Kevin Earle, the Executive Director of the Arizona Dental Association, for his leadership in setting up this year’s Mission of Mercy.