A large contingent of College of Dentistry faculty and students traveled to Tampa, Fla., for a two-day free dental event, the Florida Mission of Mercy, on March 28 and 29. They joined the 700 dentists, dental students, hygienists and others who volunteered to provide free services for people in need of dental care. Together they performed more than 8,700 dental procedures on more than 1,600 patients — an estimated $1 million in dental care.
The event was sponsored by the Florida Dental Association and, although they’ve been organized in other states in recent years, this is the first time the event has been held in Florida.
“It was really well-coordinated. The patients wore armbands that denoted what kind of care they needed and we did it all – extractions, x-rays, restorations, root canals, hygiene, and education about proper oral care,” said Boyd Robinson, D.D.S., M.Ed., interim dean, who was one of the faculty volunteers.
Some of the patients waited overnight to make sure they were seen during the event. In addition to current students, some of the volunteer dentists were alumni of the college.
“I was very proud to see such a significant turnout of Gator Dentists at the event,” Robinson said.
The Tampa Bay Times ran a story about the event that included information about Florida’s access-to-care issues. You can read it here.