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Tallahassee is hosting the Florida Mission of Mercy this weekend, a free dental clinic

Say cheese! This photo is from the 2019 Florida Mission of Mercy in Orlando
Florida Dental Association Foundation
Florida Dental Association Foundation
Say cheese! This photo is from the 2019 Florida Mission of Mercy in Orlando

The Florida Dental Association Foundation chose Tallahassee for its seventh Mission of Mercy(MoM) event. The free dental clinic will be held at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center this Friday and Saturday (3/11 – 3/12) from 7AM to 7PM. An estimated 1,000 people will receive free dental work over those two days.

Attendees can get free cleanings and much more. “We have dentists on hand for fillings, oral surgery, extractions, root canals, pediatric dentistry, and some limited partials and dentures,” says Dr. Tracy M. Eckles, a dentist in Tallahassee.

This is the first time the yearly event is being held in Tallahassee. Previous MoM clinics have been held in Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, and Pensacola. Past missions in Florida have served over 11,000 patients and provided over $11 million worth of treatment.

Just this week, Eckles referred a new patient to the free clinic. “He had multiple teeth that needed to be removed. It was thousands of dollars’ worth of treatment that he needed, and he relayed to me that it just was not a realistic option,” says Eckles. “I already had the flyer printed for him because I had a feeling this was going to be his situation.”

Appointments are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. To avoid crowds gathering and waiting for hours, individuals will check in and receive a ticket that tells them when to return. Everyone on site will be required to wear masks unless they're in the dental chair.

Veterans can be pre-screened to be the first to receive treatment by emailing Foundation@Floridadental.org or calling 850-681-3629.

Volunteers are needed for both days of the clinic. Click here to sign up to help. Those needing dental care can find more information about the clinic here.

Gina Jordan is the host of Morning Edition for WFSU News. Gina is a Tallahassee native and graduate of Florida State University. She spent 15 years working in news/talk and country radio in Orlando before becoming a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU in 2008. Follow Gina: @hearyourthought on Twitter. Click below for Gina's full bio.