2022 Mission of Mercy Q&A
What is the Illinois Mission of Mercy?
The Illinois Mission of Mercy (IL MOM) is a large-scale dental clinic that provides free oral health care to patients of all ages who cannot otherwise afford or access care. MOM events across America have helped more than 275,000 patients and have provided nearly $190 million in free dental services since 2000
When and where is the next Illinois Mission of Mercy?
The next IL MOM is tentatively scheduled for 2022 in Rockford, Illinois
What are the IL MOM hours of operation?
The clinic doors open at 6 am each day. The doors will close when clinic capacity has been met. We typically treat 1,000 patients per day depending on the number of licensed volunteers available. Clinic capacity may be reached as early as 10 am, so please plan to come early.
What dental services will be provided?
Dental services include cleanings, fillings, and extractions. We will NOT be providing crowns, bridges, or full dentures. No services are guaranteed until you’ve been examined by a dentist at the clinic.
Do I need to make a dental appointment?
There will be no appointments made for the general clinic. Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis until we reach our capacity for the day. Our capacity is determined by the number of professional dental volunteers present and cannot be predicted in advance of our event.
If I volunteer at a MOM event, can I get treatment as a patient?
Volunteering at IL MOM does not guarantee treatment or preferential advantage as a patient. If you need dental treatment, make that your first priority and come to IL MOM as a patient. We appreciate your desire to give back, but we will have enough volunteers to operate the clinic.
What should I expect if I attend the Illinois Mission of Mercy?
Arrive as soon as you can and be prepared for a full day. Here is the likely process you will go through:
- Waiting in line both outdoors and indoors. We appreciate your patience.
- Filling out basic patient registration forms. (Volunteers will be available to assist you with these forms.)
- Participating in a basic medical screening to determine if you are healthy enough to receive treatment.
- Participating in a basic dental screening to determine which procedure can be done.
- Waiting in designated areas for your procedure for the day.
- Receiving treatment from a dental professional.
- Checking out and receiving follow-up instructions.
What is the length of time I should expect for my experience at IL MOM?
You should expect to spend the majority of your day with us. By the time you wait in line, have your medical screening, dental screening and treatment completed, it could be a 6-8 hour (or longer) event. Please be prepared for that amount of time. You will have access to rest rooms.
What should I bring with me to IL MOM?
- We recommend the following:
- List of current medications.
- One day supply of your regular medications.
- It is a long day and it is best to leave children at home with somebody.
- Snacks and water.
- Patience and a good attitude
- If you are accompanying a young child/ren, please bring:
- Diapers and wipes. We will not have supplies available.
- Bottles and formula (if needed)
- Portable snacks and small meals
Can I smoke or vape anywhere at the event?
Rock Valley College is a smoke-free facility indoors and outdoors. Smoking at any Rock Valley College location is prohibited (Unless you are inside your personal vehicle)
Can I have treatment if I’m pregnant?
Receiving dental care while pregnant is safe for most women. Maintaining good oral health during pregnancy is important. If you are pregnant, we ask that you bring a written note from your OB/GYN noting concerns or recommendations regarding dental treatment. If your OB/GYN has concerns, you may wish to seek regular dental care at a clinic other than IL MOM.
What should I do if my doctor recommends premedication for dental treatment?
Appropriate non-narcotic pain medications and antibiotics will be dispensed as directed by our clinicians. There will be no narcotics on the premises.
Do I need insurance?
No. This is a completely free event. Because of the generosity of our volunteers and event sponsors, we will not be filing insurance or charging patients for the services.
Is there anything that would disqualify me from receiving treatment?
Each patient will undergo a simple medical screening at the start of your IL MOM experience. Some things that could prevent you from being treated include:
- Fever at the time of treatment.
- Uncontrolled or abnormally high blood pressure.
- Abnormally high or uncontrolled blood sugar levels (if you are diabetic).
- A history of excessive bleeding or too thin of blood. (Those on blood thinner medications should talk to their doctor before seeking dental treatment. Patients on Coumadin/Warfarin should bring a current INR card. Patients on Xarelto or Eliquis should consider stopping their medication 2 doses prior to treatment but not before talking to their doctor first.
- Currently taking medications to suppress your immune system.
- Other significant health issues (i.e. recent heart surgery/attack, undergoing cancer treatment, etc.)
Can someone come with me while I am being treated?
You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you to IL MOM. They can accompany you while outside the clinic, but we require them to stay in the family/friends waiting area once you enter the building. You will be able to rejoin them after you are finished.
Who will be providing treatment at the IL MOM?
All care will be provided by volunteer licensed dentists and hygienists.
There are multiple people in my family who need dental treatment – is that possible at IL MOM?
We can treat multiple adult family members, but there are some things to consider.
- Once inside the clinic, do not plan on being able to stay together through the entire process.
- If you are a parent seeking treatment, please leave your children at home with somebody.
- No childcare is available.
- We have a pediatric clinic for ages 5-18 that is separate from the adult clinic. We require at least one parent/guardian to always be with children younger than 18.
- Adults accompanying children who are receiving treatment should not plan on getting treatment themselves.
Is childcare available?
As stated above, childcare is not available at the IL MOM. We encourage you to leave your children at home unless they are receiving treatment.
Is there a limit as to how much treatment I can receive?
Our first priority will be to treat your most critical dental need. One of our volunteer dentists will meet with you and determine how we can help you best. The purpose of this type of clinic is to eliminate pain/infection by treating your most urgent dental need and to help as many individuals as possible.
Will there be translators?
We will have some volunteer translators. Due to the volunteer nature of the clinic, it is hard to know how many translators and/or signers for the hearing impaired will be available at ILMOM. If you are a translator and want to volunteer for our event, please register online. A family member can accompany a patient to help translate.
Are pets allowed at the IL MOM?
No. Animals or pets, with the exception of ADA Service Animals, are not permitted in the venue. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
I’m not from Illinois. Can I still receive treatment at IL MOM?
Yes. We do not determine who can receive care based on where they live. We will help as many individuals as time and supplies allow. All services at IL MOM are on a first come, first served basis until we reach our capacity each day.
I am in quite a bit of pain. Should I wait to be treated at the IL MOM?
No. If you are experiencing abnormal to severe pain, you should seek immediate treatment. If you do not have access to a dentist, please go to the nearest dental emergency room; if that's unavailable, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. You can find a list of clinics for low-income and underserved individuals at https://www.isds.org/for-the-public/find-a-dental-clinic.