GREELEY - Over 1,200 dentists, hygienists, other dental professionals and volunteers will be in Greeley to provide free dental treatment and education through the Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) on Friday and Saturday.
COMOM is a two-day portable dental clinic that operates 125 dental chairs simultaneously. This year's clinic plans to help over 1,500 low-income, dentally uninsured adults and children in northern Colorado and surrounding areas. Care will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis - no advanced appointments will be made. The COMOM clinic will be held at the Island Grove Event Center (501 N. 14th Ave., Greeley, CO 80631). This is the seventh annual COMOM and the largest dental clinic of its kind in Colorado.
COMOM will provide a wide array of dental treatment. Dental professionals from across Colorado have united for this cause and will be donating their services, which will include cleanings, fillings, extractions and limited oral surgery. Special at this year's clinic, free flu shots and DTaP immunizations (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis/whooping cough) will be available for patients. More patient information can be found at COMOM.org.
"We're excited for the opportunity to bring COMOM to Greeley this year," said Dr. Joel Feinberg, COMOM site chair. "Access to dental care is a huge problem for many families, especially in this region of the state. Thousands of individuals cannot eat, sleep, concentrate at work or function because of oral pain. COMOM was established to help those who cannot afford dental care with their most urgent dental needs."
Nationwide studies tracked by the American Dental Association show that 80 percent of dental disease occurs in just 20 percent of the population, a sector that is chronically economically disadvantaged. Without proper dental care, this population experiences disproportionately serious pain that can interfere with school and work, create negative self-esteem, and inhibit social development. Most significantly, poor oral hygiene is the gateway to more serious health problems. The "Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health Care" discusses an association between poor oral health and many more serious overall health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, low birthweight babies and premature births.
"Statewide efforts are being made by dentists to improve the long-term problem of access-to-care, but we cannot ignore the immediate dental needs of Coloradans," Dr. Feinberg continued.
For more information about COMOM, visit COMOM.org.
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