One of the great things about the dental field is that there are endless opportunities for dental professionals to give back to the community. For our students, not only is volunteering rewarding, but it is a great way to expand your knowledge of the field and your resume. Here are some of the ways you can give back in our community:
- Mission of Mercy (MOM) Projects: Without access to affordable dental care, many people are left to suffer pain, discomfort, and embarrassment with nowhere else to turn. To address the overwhelming need for access to free oral health care, Dr. Terry Dickinson, executive director of the Virginia Dental Association, created the Mission of Mercy (MOM) program in 2000 to provide high-quality dental care for underserved Virginians. The MOM program operates mobile clinics throughout the State, providing preventive, restorative, and surgical dental treatments to more than 4,000 low-income individuals each year.
- Give Kids a Smile: The American Dental Association began the Give Kids A Smile program in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to under-served children. The program initially began as a one-day event in February, but has since grown to local and national events year-round. Dentists and other team members volunteer their time, and services, to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States. Each year, approximately 350,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events, all because of the efforts of 40,000 or more annual volunteers.
- Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center: Olde Towne Medical & Dental Center (OTMDC) was formed in 1993 to address the needs of Greater Williamsburg’s uninsured and medically under-served residents. OTMDC was established as a public-private, non-profit agency with a mission “to provide quality, cost-effective, coordinated and preventative primary health care to clients, regardless of ability to pay.” OTMDC Dental specializes in helping keep smiles healthy from infancy into adulthood. From the time infants gets their first teeth, OTMDC welcomes children to come in for regular exams. Even at this early age, parents can learn how to properly care for their children’s teeth and establish good dental habits for life. Morrison Dental Group’s doctors, hygienists and assistants regularly volunteer their time with OTMDC.