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Free Dental Clinic Serves 1,000 Patients

The American Dental Association, the Louisiana Dental Association and America’s Dentists Care Foundation hosted a Mission of Mercy (MOM) charity dental clinic on Sunday.

Mardi Gras World was transformed into a 100-chair dental clinic treating adults and children who have limited financial resources or are otherwise unable to visit a dental office. The clinic was open from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This crisis has been felt particularly hard in Louisiana where lack of dental insurance has made it difficult for the state’s population to get regular access to dentists.

In fact:

- A third of the state’s adult population has not had their teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist within the past year.

- Nearly a quarter of all Louisiana seniors have lost all of their teeth.

- 41 percent of Louisianans living near or below the poverty line there have lost teeth due to neglect. This is 3 percent higher than the national average.

- 42 percent of Louisiana children between the ages of 6-8 have untreated tooth decay compared with the national average of 28 percent.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals