Tuesday afternoon, I had an amazing opportunity to see my dental family in action serving the Portland community.

Mission of Mercy is a national organization that organizes free dental clinics in cities all over our country. This is the first time Portland has hosted a MOM clinic and it was an amazing sight. Semi trailer trucks backed up to the convention center and unloaded all of the equipment for hundreds of dentists, assistants, and hygienists, to provide services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fillings, extractions, root canals, and denture repairs. Dental equipment and supply companies donated thousands of dollars of products to provide services for approximately 1500 patients over the two days.

I personally had a chance to work in triage, anesthesia (numbing), and oral surgery (extractions). I was so proud of the energy, enthusiasm, and compassion of all of my colleagues working there. We didn’t have all of the support we were used to in our own offices, but I didn’t hear any complaints, instead everyone was doing their best with what we had. In the end the patients received excellent care and were extremely grateful.

This was a huge project and I congratulate the many people who put in long hours to make it happen. It is truly inspiring to see what the private sector can do on its own to meet the needs of the underserved among us.