The Iowa Mission of Mercy, the state’s largest free dental clinic will be in Des Moines at the Varied Industries Building at the State Fairgrounds Oct. 18-19. The clinic is open to the public. Services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. “From fillings to extractions to cleanings, Iowa MOM is an opportunity for Iowans to receive necessary, quality dental care,” said Dr. Zach Kouri, the local chair of this year’s event. “People can face many barriers to care. Iowa MOM is designed to treat patients’ immediate, acute oral health needs. The clinic will open at 5:30 a.m. each day and will accept patients until the clinic reaches capacity. Previous events have served between 1,000 and 1,500 patients during the two-day event. It is estimated 300 Iowa dentists will participate this year, as well as hundreds of other dental professionals, University of Iowa School of Dentistry students and community volunteers. “It’s hard to judge how many patients we’ll see throughout the day because we don’t know who is coming in and what services they need,” Dr. Kouri said. “However, each of the volunteer dentists is committed to providing as much care as possible throughout the event.” Each year Iowa MOM has been held in different locations across the state including Waterloo, Newton, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Davenport. In total, almost 7,000 patients have received more than $4.5 million in free dental care. “This is such an amazing event,” Dr. Kouri added. “There are smiles everywhere. It’s just a wonderful event for our hundreds of dental and community volunteers.” Iowa MOM isn’t possible without the generous contributions from the host community. While every donation is important, the Iowa Dental Foundation would like to recognize the following major contributors: Delta Dental of Iowa, The Salvation Army, Polk County Supervisors, Casey’s General Stores and the Des Moines area Hy-Vee stores. For more information about Iowa MOM visit www.iowamom.org.