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Free clinic served 765 patients with $1 million in donated dental care

Dr. Jeffrey Ahlert

OWASSO (Feb. 13, 2023) — The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy recently announced the success of its 12th annual dental clinic in Shawnee, where Oklahoma Dental Association members and Owasso resident Jeffrey Ahlert was among the dental professionals who volunteered their time and skills to treat patients in need of dental care. Volunteers at the free two-day dental clinic provided $1 million in donated dental care to individuals of all ages, including cleanings, fillings, extractions and oral health education. In total, volunteers served 765 patients, averaging $1,307.19 in donated dental care per patient.

“Thanks to the dedication of dental professionals, general volunteers and sponsors, the 12th annual Oklahoma Mission of Mercy was a tremendous success,” said Dr. Robert Herman, Oklahoma Dental Association president and OkMOM 2023 co-chair. “It’s incredible to see the dental community come together to provide hundreds of Oklahomans with critical oral health care and help make a difference in the lives of these patients.”

It took 888 volunteers to make this year’s Oklahoma Mission of Mercy a success. The event is the single-largest free clinic in the state where dental professionals unite to provide treatment to patients that are uninsured, underinsured or would not normally have access to dental care.

“We treated patients in serious pain, patients who hadn’t smiled in months and patients without education or resources for long-term dental care,” said Dr. Brandon Loeser, a Shawnee-based dentist and OkMOM 2023 co-chair. “The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy helped alleviate many of these needs, advancing dental health and providing resources for continual, long-term care for hundreds of patients.”  

Comprehensive and routine dental care is not a reality for many across the state due to numerous barriers such as geographical, financial and educational obstacles. For Oklahomans who lack access to dental care and oral health education, Oklahoma Mission of Mercy can be a life-changing event.

“More than a million Oklahomans don’t have dental insurance, severely limiting their ability to access oral health care,” said John Gladden, Delta Dental of Oklahoma president and CEO. “The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy helps to address a widespread need, bringing together thousands of dental professionals and volunteers to aid those who need it most.”

Since 2010, volunteers at the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy have treated 18,146 patients, totaling more than $15 million in donated dental services. Hosted in a different city across the state each year, the 2024 Oklahoma Mission of Mercy will be held in Lawton, Okla.


“All Oklahomans deserve and need access to dental care,” said Oklahoma Dental Foundation Executive Director John Wilguess. “With the help of our sponsors, volunteers and the city of Shawnee, the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy brought vital dental care to those in our community who need it the most, and we look forward to helping even more of our neighbors at next year’s event.”

Oklahoma Mission of Mercy is produced by the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Dental Foundation and the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation. Donations for the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy dental clinic are accepted at www.okmom.org.