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Free dental clinic led by St. Paul dentist

News | September 12, 2019

Each year, the Iowa Mission of Mercy, or IMOM sets up a temporary dental clinic in a rotating location in the state of Iowa. Volunteers and sponsors donate their time and resources to provide free dental care to patients who attend the clinic. Lives are transformed as licensed dental professionals provide a wide variety of treatments from cleanings to some oral surgeries and everything in between. Oral health is a critical part of a person’s overall well-being, but some face barriers when it comes to receiving proper dental care.

This year, the event will be in Davenport, on September 20 and 21. Doors open both days at 6 a.m., no appointments are taken. Patients may receive a variety of services from cleanings, root canals, extractions, and fillings.

The local committee chair is Ben Lloyd, a St. Paul member and dentist.

How did you first learn of this initiative?

I first volunteered for IMOM as a dentist in the oral surgery area of the 2012 IMOM in Davenport.  I don’t remember who exactly encouraged me to volunteer, but likely was an older dentist at a local district dental meeting. They are very persuasive to young dentists, and I have a hard time saying no!

Why did you say yes to getting involved?

I said yes because all my life, I’ve wanted to help. This work ethic was passed to me through my parents, who have always volunteered, and still do. My dad has a story about being a young grad student in Iowa City getting health care for himself and never having a bill to pay, believing some other person in the clinic who befriended him and my mother, offered to take care of the cost.  This story sticks with me as one of the wonderful blessings my family has been offered in our lives, and I want to help others in need like my father was helped almost 50 years ago, 1970-71 in Iowa City.

How did the leadership position come to be?

I was asked by Bettendorf dentist Dr. Kyle Gagliardo, the MOM leader, to be the local committee chair.  Again, tough time saying no, I said yes. Since accepting the job have spent many hours reaching out to local businesses for donations, and to fellow dentists and their offices to convince them to volunteer. I hope to still be able to work in the oral surgery clinic at least some of the time, as this is my favorite part to help with.

How can someone help?

Volunteers can go to iowamom.org to sign up.

General volunteers at all times, Friday morning through Saturday afternoon shifts

Hygienists, Saturday afternoon

Chair side dental assistants, Saturday afternoon

Nurses and nursing students, all day Friday and Saturday

Sterilization volunteers, Friday and Saturday after 5 p.m.

Saturday afternoon shift to tear down the clinic and load onto truck

What is your greatest hope?

My greatest hope is to take care of a huge chunk of the unmet need for dental care in our community, so people can live happier, more fulfilled lives.  I have a cousin we visited in Sweden in July who works with new immigrants to Sweden. Her job is to help women to become contributing members of society who can help their fellow person and raise successful, happy children. This dental clinic is my way to do what she is doing, but for people in my own community.

One comment on “Free dental clinic led by St. Paul dentist”

  • Kathy Emorey

    September 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    You go , Ben!
    So happy to hear of your involvement. Some year I’d love to help out.

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Malachi 3:1-4

The Coming Messenger 3 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.[a] 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Hebrews 2:14-18

14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters[a] in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Luke 2:22-40

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple 22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon;[a] this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.[b] 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon[c] came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon[d] took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Master, now you are dismissing your servant[e] in peace, according to your word; 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” 33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon[f] blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36 There was also a prophet, Anna[g] the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child[h] to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. The Return to Nazareth 39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.