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Smile: Maryland ­Dentists Offer Free Care

In need of dental attention but putting it off due to expense, lack of insurance or time to find a practice? Head to Waldorf this weekend for free dental care thanks to the Southern Maryland Mission of Mercy.

            Line up early as the queue of patients often begins the night before. Doors open at 6am July 27 and are often closed a few hours later as capacity — some 1,200 adult patients — is reached.

            “With the help of thousands of volunteers, fully trained dentists provide the best care to some of our most vulnerable citizens,” says Maryland State Dental Association Foundation President Dr. Diane Romaine. “These Missions of Mercy are a testament to the commitment Maryland dentists have to the people of this state.”

            Last year Missions of Mercy across Maryland provided more than $3 million worth of treatment to more than 3,000 patients. Since 2010, the program has provided more than $13 million in dental services to low-income and uninsured Marylanders.

            “Through these Missions of Mercy,” says Dr. Vanessa Benavent, president of the Maryland State Dental Association, “we’ve been able to demonstrate the real need in Maryland for our state leaders to sign into law comprehensive adult dental Medicaid to our most vulnerable citizens.”