Mission of Mercy Volunteer FAQs       

In a few months, the Illinois State Dental Society Foundation will be hosting its 5th Mission of Mercy in Springfield, IL. Drs. Brandon Maddox, Jim Frett and Phil Jensen have been planning the 2018 MOM for over a year, along with a local committee and more than 50 department chairs that have dedicated a full weekend in July to serve an uninsured, underinsured and low income population in great need of dental services.


Online volunteer registration is now open at


If you are volunteering for the ISDS Foundation’s upcoming Mission of Mercy, you may have a few questions about the event, like what you need to bring, what to wear, what to expect.   Here are answers to some common questions from our volunteers.

Where and when is the clinic being held?

The Bank of Springfield Center (formerly the Prairie Capital Convention Center), Springfield, IL

Clinic Set-up: Thursday, July 19

Treatment days: Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21

Clinic opens at 6:00 am on treatment days.


What services are provided?

Dental professionals will be providing cleanings, fillings, extractions and limited partials.


I really want to volunteer, but I’m unable to commit to both clinic days.  May I volunteer for a half day?

We have several option times available for volunteers. Each clinic day will have slots from 5:30 am to noon and from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm. You may volunteer for one shift, two or for the entire time the clinic is open.


I will be traveling from several miles away. Where should I plan on staying if needing overnight accommodations?

The ISDS Foundation has made arrangements for volunteers to receive a special rate at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre located at 700 E Adams Street in Springfield. It is located across the street from the Bank of Springfield Centre. Parking is included in the room rate. You must mention Illinois Mission of Mercy to receive the group rate of $112 + tax. To reserve a room, please call 217/789-1530 or go to:


Can I bring my own equipment?

Yes. Please be sure to clearly mark/label them. However, since this is a “M*A*S*H-type” event where every chair is needed to be fully operational at all times, there is the possibility that another dentist will have to use the equipment temporarily while you are on break or at lunch.  Hygienists—we will have limited cavitrons available.  If you would like to bring your own, clearly labeled cavitron, we will re-calibrate it for you at the conclusion of your shift.


What else should I bring?

Clinicians should plan to bring protective eye wear, face shield and any other personal protective equipment you use in your office. Eyewear is only provided for those volunteering in sterilization. Headlamps and extra batteries are also recommended to increase visibility.


Can my assistant be assigned to assist me during the event?

You are welcome to bring your assistant, but they must register individually.  Dentists are encouraged to have their entire office register.  This is a great opportunity to volunteer as a team. We have plenty of opportunities for everyone in the office to help.  Dentists who are not paired with their own assistant will be provided an assistant to work with.


Will chairside stools be provided for dentists and assistants?
One chairside stool will be provided for each dental chair.  It is intended for the dentist to use during treatment.  Assistants who want a chairside stool should bring their own,
clearly labeled with their name.


Will dental students or hygiene students be able to treat patients?

M.O.M. is a great learning opportunity, and we encourage students to volunteer as assistants and patient ambassadors. 


Is nitrous oxide available?
No.  Nitrous oxide will not be available for dentists or hygienists to use on patients.


Is there a minimum age for volunteers?
In order to ensure everyone’s safety, volunteers must be at least 18 years old.


What should I expect at MOM?

100 portable dental chairs, lights and units will be set up to treat patients.  The chairs will recline, and the units will have water and suction.  Given space restrictions, each dentist will be able to have one dental assistant. If a dentist brings more than one assistant, any extra assistants will be assigned to work elsewhere in the clinic. As patients register for dental care, they will be asked to complete a form for basic demographic information and their health history. The form will be used for triage and to record patient treatment information. Patients will be treated based on their most urgent needs. Dentists working in triage will be responsible for assessing and prioritizing patients’ treatment needs.


Besides dental professionals, will you need additional volunteers?

Yes.  We will need physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and hundreds of lay volunteers.


Will snacks/lunch be provided?

Volunteers can eat meals and take breaks in a designated area where food, beverages, and water will be provided.  Please do not eat or drink in front of patients.  Everyone should plan to eat or drink in the designated volunteer hospitality room. Food and drinks (except water) are not allowed on the clinic floor.


What should I wear to the event?

All volunteers will be provided with a t-shirt to wear while working at the event. This will help identify who’s working and in what capacity. Jeans, scrubs, capri pants, and casual, comfortable closed-toe shoes are recommended. Shorts and skirts should be of a length that is appropriate for both a professional and family atmosphere and shows respect for patients. Every effort is made to maintain a comfortable inside temperature, but it is impossible to provide the perfect conditions for everyone in such a large group. Therefore, you may want to wear layers under the volunteer T-shirt provided or a sweater or jacket that allows your volunteer shirt to show. Having the option to change into shorts and/or pants is also a good idea.


What should I bring to the event?

Bring anything that will make you happy and productive! Volunteer dentists and hygienists who bring their favorite instruments and set-ups, are usually the happiest, just make sure that everything is clearly labeled with your name.

 Please do not bring anything with you that would need to be stored during the event.  There are no lockers available, nor is there a secure place to store personal items.  Do not bring anything that you cannot keep on you, like a purse. Purses should be left at home or locked in the trunk of your car.


Is there anything new planned for the 2018 M.O.M.?

Yes!  On Thursday afternoon, after the clinic set-up, volunteers will screen up to 250 Veterans, completing their registrations, Medical Triage, Dental Triage and X-rays. On Friday, the pre-screened Veterans will enter through a different door and be the first patients treated that day. If you are interested in volunteering for the Veteran’s First Program, be sure to sign up when the volunteer registration is open.


If I can’t volunteer at the event, is there another way I can help M.O.M.?

Absolutely! A project of this magnitude requires a fairly large budget to cover clinic expenses (equipment and facility rentals, supplies, pharmaceuticals, food costs.) Consider donating money or in-kind products or services. Your contribution, no matter the amount, will make a difference in treating thousands of patients. Monetary donations may be made at In-kind products and services may be made by contacting Sarah Jensen at

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