Rhode Island Mission of Mercy free dental clinic returns for first time in 2 years

THE RHODE ISLAND Mission of Mercy free dental clinic returned this year, serving over 450 Rhode Islanders over the Sept. 24-25 weekend. From left: Dr. Jeffrey Dodge, founder, Mission of Mercy; Marcia Braganca, clinical chair, Mission of Mercy; Joseph E. Perroni, CEO and president, Delta Dental of Rhode Island; Merrill Thomas, CEO and president, Providence Community Health Centers; Matthew Blackey, director of dental services, Providence Community Health Centers. / COURTESY CHRIS RAIA

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Mission of Mercy dental clinic returned for the first since 2019 this year, providing over 450 Rhode Islanders in need with more than $273,000 in free oral health services.

The two-day clinic, which took place Sept. 24-25 at the Providence Community Health Centers’ dental clinic, was organized by the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation and is primarily funded by Delta Dental of Rhode Island. A team of more than 175 community volunteers and more than 260 volunteer oral health providers served 455 uninsured or underinsured Rhode Islanders over the weekend. Services provided included routine cleanings, X-rays, fillings, root canal treatments on front teeth and tooth extractions.

“We were thrilled to once again host the Mission of Mercy after two years away, and we couldn’t be more proud of the impact this clinic delivered for Rhode Island’s most vulnerable individuals,” said Dr. Jeffrey Dodge, president and founder of the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation. “We thank our network of volunteers and our premier sponsors, Delta Dental of Rhode Island and Providence Community Health Centers, for making this event possible.”

“Delta Dental of Rhode Island is proud to be a longtime sponsor of the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy, an initiative that makes a real difference in the lives of hundreds of our neighbors from across the state,” said Joseph R. Perroni, CEO and president of Delta Dental of Rhode Island. “It is inspiring and truly incredible to see what the state’s dental health community can accomplish in just two days. We congratulate everyone involved on a successful event.”

This was the first time that the clinic returned since 2019, after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the clinic offered more than $380,000 worth of oral health care services to over 485 Rhode Islanders.

“Providence Community Health Centers was proud to once again work with our community partners and volunteers from around the state to provide dental care to Rhode Islanders in need,” said Merrill Thomas, CEO and president of Providence Community Health Centers.

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Chiappa@PBN.com

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