Frequently Asked GMOM Questions

Q: What is Georgia Mission of Mercy (GMOM)?

A: GMOM is a free, large-scale portable dental clinic for low- and no-income adults who are unable to pay for dental care. Over two days, volunteer dentists and other dental health professionals provide dental care and oral health education to more than 2,000 patients, highlighting the barriers to available dental treatment for the citizens of Georgia. An outreach program of the Georgia Dental Association, GMOM is funded by the Georgia Dental Association Foundation for Oral Health, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

GMOM rotates around the state to build awareness of proper care and address barriers to available dental treatment. In 2015 it will be held June 19-20 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, Ga. GDA member dentists will lead a full-scale dental clinic, with more than 100 chairs, treatment stations, patient education, a computerized registration and referral system and much more.

An event of this magnitude requires hundreds of clinical and community volunteers. WE NEED YOU TO MAKE GMOM A SUCCESS! To volunteer for this event as a clinical care provider or community helper, click here: >>> VOLUNTEER FOR GMOM <<<

Q: What Takes Place at GMOM?
A: In general, set up of the clinic will takes place on a Thursday, with actual clinic days on Friday and Saturday; clinic breakdown begins in stages on Saturday as departments finish with patients. Dental and medical volunteers provide all clinical services. Community volunteers round out staffing in all other volunteer positions. Capacity of the program is approximately 2,000 patients. There are no scheduled appointments as this is a first-come, first-served clinic for the underserved adults in Georgia who have no other dental safety net. Services are available for children that may attend and need care. Representatives from Georgia’s various free and reduced fee clinics will provide information and may be on site to assist patients who need further ongoing services.

Q: What’s the GMOM Process?
A: Patients register on-site for services and are asked to complete and sign a health release form. Patients will receive an initial screening, or medical triage, to assess their current health status. Then a volunteer dentist will perform a dental triage to determine what procedure(s) are most needed and desired. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of patients and time constraints, the dentists will not be able to address every dental problem a patient may have, but will tend to their most urgent dental needs and perform procedures that would most benefit the patient. Based on the patients’ oral health needs, patients are then escorted to one of the clinical areas for a cleaning, restorative care, or oral surgery for their dental work. Throughout the clinic days, each patient will receive preventive dental education and instruction on how to maintain their oral health.

Q: Who Will Benefit from GMOM?
A: The Georgia Mission of Mercy (GMOM) project provides free dental care for the underserved adults in Georgia to relieve dental pain and suffering for those who would otherwise go without care and have no other dental safety net. The number of adults and children in need of oral health care services in Georgia is staggering. According to the Georgia Health Policy Center, in the United States tooth decay remains the most common, most largely preventable condition of children ages five to seventeen, and this problem continues into adulthood. It is estimated that 27 percent of adults aged 35 to 44 years old and 30 percent of adults over 65 have untreated tooth decay. Among these individuals, it is common to find progressive and cumulative dental disease. Oral health is inseparable from general health and can affect a person’s self-esteem and compromise their ability to work, attend school, and lead normal lives.

Q: How has GMOM Made a Difference?
A: GMOM 2015 will be our third GMOM outreach event. Our first two GMOMs combined have provided over 21,600 free dental services to over 3,330 Georgians. The total value of this free care is over $3.3 million! The majority of the patients seen have been uninsured and many reported that it had been more than 2 years since their last dental visit.

Q: How Can You Get Involved?
A: Volunteer! An event of this magnitude requires hundreds of clinical volunteers to provide the treatment, along with several hundred additional community volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Our Community Volunteers will be an invaluable part of making GMOM a success. Opportunities to help at GMOM include: Child Care, Clinic Set Up and Tear Down, Entertainment, Patient Checkout, Patient and Volunteer Hospitality (including food service), Patient Registration, Patient Ambassador, Translators, and Patient and Volunteer Registration. Every job at GMOM is critical to the success of the project. Please be flexible and consider an area you might not normally. To volunteer for this event as a clinical care provider or community helper, click here: >>> VOLUNTEER FOR GMOM <<<
Q: How Can You Contribute?
A: In addition to the personnel needed, we need to raise nearly $300,000 in monetary and in-kind donations to have a successful event. GMOM receives no governmental funds and is dependent on grants and donations. GMOM is a program of the Georgia Dental Association Foundation for Oral Health, a 501 (c) (3) organization and your donation is tax deductible as permitted by law.

Q: How Can I Be a Patient and Receive Services?
A: Please see the Patient Information Center for more information specific to patient questions, including how services will be provided.