FARMINGTON — The numbers are in for the New Mexico Mission of Mercy for San Juan County.
During the dental clinic Sept. 13 and 14 at McGee Park, 952 patients received free dental care. Of those, 81 were children.
More than 7,000 free dental procedures were administered, which is the equivalent of $586,652 in treatment.
"We were really pleased with the turnout," said event co-chair Dr. John McNeill. "It's great that we were able to help that many smiles."
Although fewer patients came to the clinic than predicted, more people received several treatments because there was a greater professional-to-patient ratio, McNeill said.
Most of the treatments, McNeill said, were in the form of dental hygiene and restorative care, such as fillings.
Monsoon rains the day before the clinic opened nearly derailed the event. The storms caused a water main break that left McGee Park without water and with mounds of mud and debris in the parking lots and outside the clinic.
McNeill said county workers and volunteers swing into action to make last-minute adjustments, averting a possible crisis.
In all, 1,330 volunteers helped with the two-day clinic. Of those, 116 were dentists and 74 were hygienists.
"I just really want to thank all of the sponsors and the community for their support, both in terms of the volunteers who worked to help make the clinic accessible, but also the patients who came out. It was a huge effort on everyone's part, and it was a success," McNeill said.
Rhonda Schaefer, director of marketing and public relations for San Juan College, was present during both days of the clinic.
"It was an absolutely amazing event," Schaefer said. "It's incredible how many people from the community came together to meet the needs of so many others. Mission of Mercy made a difference in the lives of so many people, both adults and children."
The next New Mexico Mission of Mercy will be held in Rio Rancho in October 2014, and, like the San Juan County clinic, it will be open to anyone seeking treatment.
New Mexico Mission of Mercy is a program of the New Mexico Dental Foundation. To assist with future events, contact the foundation at 505-298-7206 or NMdentalfoundation.org.