Patient Frequently Asked Questions
What is the North Carolina Missions of Mercy?
The North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) portable free dental program is an outreach program of the North Carolina Dental Society. The North Carolina Dental Health Fund sponsors the program. The North Carolina Dental Health Fund is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. NCMOM events are staffed by professional and community volunteers from across the state.
What services are provided?
All patients at a NCMOM project are examined by a licensed dentist to determine their most critical need. Based on the examination, either tooth removal (extractions), tooth fillings (restorations), or teeth cleaning will be performed. At some clinics partials may be provided to replace front teeth only
(Please note: Patients requiring partials must be available both days).
Will you be able to fix all of my dental problems?
That will depend on what your needs are. Only one major service is usually performed on each patient. We will do multiple extractions or fillings at one time; however, you will not receive both of these services at one time. Our philosophy is to provide services to as many people as possible rather than to provide many services to fewer people. Future NCMOM events are listed HERE.
Do I qualify?
NCMOM dental services are provided to adults with income less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines for the 48 contiguous states and D.C. The table below can be used to determine your income eligibility.
Do I need to bring proof of income?
No. We do not require you to bring proof of income; however you will be required to sign an income disclosure statement during patient registration.
Do I need to live within the county where the clinic is being held?
No. We do not require you to live in the same county and/or state where the clinic is taking place.
Do I need an appointment?
No. All services at an NCMOM clinic are provided on a first-come, first-served basis until we have reached our capacity for the day. Our capacity is determined by the number of professional volunteers present and cannot be predicted in advance of the opening of an NCMOM event.
When do I need to be there?
You should plan to arrive in the early morning hours. Patients usually begin arriving around midnight. Dental examinations will begin at 6 AM. Please remember that services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis until we have reached our capacity for the day.
What should I bring with me?
- Food and drink to sustain you during your waiting periods.
- Adequate clothing to shelter you while waiting.
- Identification is required to receive medication.
- If prescribed, any medication that would be needed throughout the duration of the event.
Will pregnancy affect my care?
If you are pregnant we will need a statement from your ob/gyn doctor allowing us to provide the care you need.
Will heart problems affect my care?
If you have a known heart condition or have a had recent heart problems including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, heart valve, angina, or any other condition for which you are taking medications we will need a written statement from your primary care provider allowing us to provide the care you need
Will a gum infection affect my care?
A severe or painful infection (abscess) will affect our ability to provide care to you. If you think you have an abscess, see a dentist or your primary care provider. If you cannot reach a dentist, go to a hospital's emergency department for evaluation, especially if you feel sick.
What can I expect?
Arrive as soon as you can and be prepared for a long day. We understand that it is a long wait and our only request is for your patience. The normal process that a patient goes through for care is:
1. Waiting line.
2. Patient registration.
3. Health history and blood pressure check.
5. Triage (patient dental examination).
6. Patient treatment waiting area for cleanings, fillings, or removals.
7. Treatment station.
8. Patient checkout.
What should I do if my doctor tells me to premedicate?
Follow the instructions of your primary care provider and inform the attending doctor examining you in triage. Premedication does not eliminate you from receiving care. Premedication may be needed if you have certain heart problems, or have an artificial joint.
Who will be performing the dental services or cleanings?
The NCMOM project is an outreach program of the North Carolina Dental Society, and the primary care providers are licensed dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants. Some care may be provided by dental students from the School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina or East Carolina University. Whenever students are providing care, either teaching professors from the Schools of Dentistry or a designated adjunct professor supervises them. Students are only allowed to perform procedures that they are already qualified to perform.
Can you explain the process for receiving partials?
Lab Process: We do not create dentures. Our lab volunteers can only create partials for front teeth. This is a two-day process. You must attend Friday morning to be screened through Triage and Radiology; if it is possible to create a partial to meet your needs, our lab volunteers and volunteer dentists will take impressions to then create your partial. You will return early Saturday to have the partial fitted and extractions performed if necessary. Please understand that supplies are limited and the lab can only take a limited number of cases at each clinic.