Why I Volunteer at AZMOM

Dental_ClinicHi there, it’s Dr. Carol Ford. On Dec. 9 and 10, I volunteered my time and clinical expertise with the Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy (AZMOM) dental clinic, along with more than 1,700 other dental professionals and community members. It was an amazing opportunity to give back to the people of the Valley of the Sun, and I wanted to share some of my highlights from the experience with you.

The Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation hosts AZMOM as an annual dental clinic event aimed at providing charitable dental care and education to Arizonans, as well as reducing health risks and suffering for those in need. In 2016, we provided care to nearly 1,800 patients and performed an amazing 14,007 procedures in just two days!

Dental_ClinicAt the event, I was a volunteer leader in the routing department. Each department has a leader and a co-leader who coordinates the volunteers in that area. Router dentists diagnose and create a treatment plan with the patient. We can’t do everything for a patient, but we help them pick the one type of service they most want to receive at AZMOM, such as receiving dentures, having oral surgery or getting a restoration such as a filling.

I enjoy working in the AZMOM dental clinic. It is a real “feel good” experience. There is so much gratitude from our patients. I remember in particular one young woman who came in for treatment who was getting married. She had no teeth and wanted to feel happy and comfortable when she smiled for her wedding this month. Her dentures turned out simply amazing in every way, and the grateful smile she beamed to all afterwards was so rewarding.

Dental_ClinicIf you have been moved by the story of the AZMOM dental clinic, you can become involved too! We were assisted by more than 500 community volunteers, who accompanied patients as they moved around Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, performed data entry, and helped with event set-up and take-down tasks. Another very important way to help this event is through a charitable donation. This year AZMOM donations became eligible for Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit, so you may donate up to $400 ($800 for couples filing jointly) and be able to claim it on your state taxes!

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