Organizers of the latest free dental clinic known as the “Iowa Mission of Mercy” (I-MOM) say it went very well and they are planning on holding another event next year. The clinic was held the weekend before Thanksgiving in Sioux City. Area dentist Dick Hettinger says they provided free dental care that exceeded one-million dollars in value in the two-day clinic.
Hettinger says they had a little over 900 people treated on Friday and a little over 700 on Saturday. He says they were surprised they had so many people come out on Saturday as the weather turned bad with freezing drizzle that made travel difficult. Dr. Hettinger says nearly 1,200 dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and others volunteered to help. He says things went well without any major problems.
Hettinger says there wasn’t anything dramatically out of the ordinary for the treatment they gave. He did mention one man who was helping clean up who had twelve teeth removed the day before and was very thankful he had been able to get it done. Hettinger says it’s obvious the need continues, and they plan to hold a fifth event.
Hettinger says they are already beginning plans and will go to the east side of the state next year. He says they are not ready to announce the town yet, but will try to hold it early in the year to avoid weather problems. The first three I-MOM events before Sioux City were held in Waterloo, Newton, and Cedar Rapids.