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A Mission of Mercy

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By Optic Editorial Board

If prior Mission of Mercy clinics are any indication, the free dental clinic scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Santa Fe will draw a huge crowd.

Free dental clinics that have previously been held in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Farmington and Rio Rancho have underscored the huge need that exists for dental services in New Mexico. Unfortunately, many people in our state don’t have dental insurance, and they just can’t afford dental care. So they do without.

We applaud the many dentists, hygienists and dental assistants who will be volunteering their time on Friday and Saturday to help those who can’t afford dental care.

This truly is a mission of mercy.

The event is put on by the New Mexico Dental Association through its foundation. It costs an estimated $250,000 to put on the free clinic, and the Dental Association relies on donations to make these events a reality. Kudos to San Miguel County for kicking in $10,000 for the Santa Fe clinic. Others who pitched in to help cover expenses for the upcoming clinic were the city of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Delta Dental, Henry Schein Dental and Patterson Dental.

Local dentist Dennis Aragon said he hopes that San Miguel County residents take advantage of the free dental clinic.

Again, it is being held this Friday and Saturday at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, located at 201 W Marcy St. Doors will open at 5:30 a.m. on both days, although the line for services will start at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Those who show up will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Among the services that will be provided are fillings, extractions, temporary partials, limited root canals and cleanings.

Aragon said there are no questions asked of those who show up for services. They won’t be asked about income or residency.

This is a wonderful service that is being provided, and we encourage anyone in northeastern New Mexico who has been putting off dental work because of the cost to take advantage of the opportunity.

There is tremendous need for dental care in New Mexico, and the fact that these dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and donors are stepping up to address that need says a great deal about their commitment to their communities and to the people of this state.