On April 13 and 14, the El Paso District Dental Society partnered with the Texas Dental Association's Smiles Foundation to bring the largest, two-day dental mission provided by the Texas Mission of Mercy event (TMOM). The event brought together hundreds of dental professionals and other volunteers to provide tooth extractions, root canals, fillings, restorations of anterior and posterior teeth and removable prosthesis. Over 832 patients underwent 3,714 treatments, which amounted to more than $610,700 (an average of $734.04 per patient) in dental care services.
“The event was a huge success,” said Dr. Silvia Menendez, an orthodontist who serves as the Chair for the El Paso District Dental Society. “We were able to raise the funds needed from our dental community, generous individuals and through family foundations. We partnered with other nonprofits such as the Opportunity Center, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and local restaurants to ensure that our volunteers were fed both days”.
More than 300 El Pasoans as well as a few from other parts of Texas, volunteered their time both days. “We had a variety of volunteers, from dentists, dental hygienist and dental assistants to the general community volunteers who helped in areas such as hospitality, registration, translation, security, patient runners, and childcare,” said Rosa Sanchez, Volunteer Community Chair,
The last time El Paso hosted TMOM was in 2003.
The El Paso District Dental Society has a fund of the Paso del Norte Charitable Foundation and consists of professionals in the dental health field dedicated to addressing the need for improved dental health and dental care for uninsured and underinsured citizens living in the greater El Paso and far West Texas area. The group also provides scholarships.