Dallas County Dental Society and Texas Mission of Mercy Provide Dental Care to Veterans.
The Dallas County Dental Society (DCDS) is proud to participate in the Texas Mission of Mercy’s (TMOM) Dallas mobile clinic November 11 and 12. Through the philanthropic branch of our agency, DCDS provides dental services to those most in need, and our partnership with TMOM allows us to continue providing quality dental care to underserved communities. While most TMOM mobile clinics are accessible to any uninsured patient, the Dallas clinic is unique in that it is designed to serve veterans only.
TMOM is a dental mobile dental clinic that provides basic dental care such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions in communities of need. It’s a program sponsored by the Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation. The program hosts a handful of clinics a year and travels across the state providing free dental care to uninsured Texans in underserved parts of the state. Services are provided on a first come, first served basis, and turnout at mobile clinics is usually high. According to their website, “since 2001, TMOM events have provided more than 29,000 patients with nearly $15 million worth of charitable care.” Dentists volunteer their professional services and provide appropriate treatment for patients after an initial exam.
These mobile clinics and the services they provide are invaluable for many individuals without health insurance, particularly for many veterans. Based on data derived from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, more than 1.2 million veterans lacked health insurance in 2012. In addition to this, dental care is often ranked as one of the top three needs among veterans, yet many are unable to obtain this form of care as a result of their uninsured status. But what makes it even more difficult for veterans to obtain dental care, are the eligibility requirements set forth by the Veteran’s Association. Per their website, “eligibility for outpatient dental care is not the same as for most other VA medical benefits,” which only adds to the disparity in coverage. Thankfully, programs like TMOM exist to try and fill the gap in coverage for Texas veterans.
Through DCDS’s participation in the TMOM Dallas mobile clinic, we are hopeful that we can provide dental services to as many veterans as possible. For more information on TMOM mobile clinics.