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Clinic will be family affair for Jones
Dr. David Jones, an orthodontist, and his daughter, Lauren Jones, a dental student at Virginia Commonwealth University, will participate in upcoming Roanoke Mission of Mercy (MOM) Project. The project provides dental care to those in need. His son David Lewis Jones, a dentist, also will participate. (Contributed photo)
If you’ve been having a nagging toothache but can’t afford to see a dentist, your chance for relief has arrived.
Martinsville-area dentists and orthodontists Gene Ayers, David Jones, James Meuhleck, James Shearer and Edward Snyder will volunteer in a free dental clinic Sept. 13 and 14 in Roanoke, and they say they hope local people will go.
It’s the Roanoke Mission of Mercy (MOM) Project, held at the Roanoke Civic Center. Dentists will volunteer their time to provide services for low-income, uninsured and underserved adults. They will do cleanings, fillings and extractions.
All patients will be required to have a ticket to receive services. Tickets will be given out starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts at Crossroads Mall (5008 Airport Road), Roanoke.
Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Only one ticket will be given to each person, but the person receiving the ticket does not have to be the patient. People who get a ticket will receive a packet with all the information needed, including the date they will be served.
Project Director Alison Jorgensen said 900 to 1,000 free tickets will be given out. The tickets are given out ahead of time so that people won’t have to wait too long outside on the days of the clinic, she added.
Jorgensen said she grew up in Martinsville, and Snyder was her orthodontist.
For the past five years, the Roanoke MOM Project, as it’s called, has provided more than $4 million in free dental services to more than 5,000 adults in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas, its website, www.roanokemom.org, states. The once-a-year clinic uses portable dental equipment for cleanings, X-rays, oral surgery and fillings.
“The MOM Projects are probably the greatest things that we have ever experienced in dentistry,” said Jones, an orthodontist. The clinic “is really incredible. If those MOM Projects are not provided, basically those people who are in need have no other recourse.”
The MOM Projects also have been a source of career and service inspiration for Jones’ family. Both of his children, David and Lauren, decided to become dentists after volunteering in the clinics.
His son, David Lewis Jones, has volunteered for more than 50 MOM clinics. He and another Martinsville native, Graham Gardner, are in practice together in Richmond.
After Jones’ son’s first MOM clinic 10 years ago in Martinsville, he told his father, “‘I can’t believe you helped that many people,’” the elder Jones recalled. “‘That’s what I want to do.’ And that was the beginning of him thinking about dental school.”
Lauren, 27, worked for a general dentist for a few years, and “during that time we took her to a couple of MOM Projects. Now she’s been to 10 or more,” her father said. She just started dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The effort is run with a partnership with the Community Based Health Care Coalition and the Council of Community Services. Support also comes from the Virginia Dental Association, Carilion Clinic, Delta Clinic of Virginia, United Way of Roanoke Valley, Virginia Commonwealth School of Dentistry and other organizations.
Missions of Mercy is part of the Virginia Dental Health Foundation.
For more information, visit www.roanokemom.org.