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Free oral care given during MOM Program in Wise

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WISE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - More than 1,300 uninsured Virginians were expected to get free dental care at the Wise County Fairgrounds July 17-19.

It's called the Mission of Mercy - or MOM Program - and volunteers from the Virginia Dental Association (VDA) Foundation offered the services for the 16th year. In 2014, dentists, hygienists, dental students and other volunteers treated 1,299 patients, providing $1.4-million worth of care including exams, extractions, digital x-rays, root canals and dentures.

Teams started treating patients early on Friday morning and continue through Sunday, July 19. Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. William Hazel, VDA President Dr. Michael Link and ADA President Dr. Maxine Feinberg visited the tented clinic on Friday morning.

The VDAF MOM Dental Clinic in Wise, in partnership with the VDA and the VCU Schools of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene, was the first effort of its kind for the organization, which began adding free clinics across the state. There have been 83 MOMs from Wise to the Eastern Shore, furnishing $36-million in critical preventative and restorative services to 57,000 patients.

The MOM program has been so successful that 28 other states have implemented similar models.