Patient FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when is IndianaMoM?
The date and location of the 2021 IndianaMoM event has not yet been determined. We will update our information when details are available.

Please note: You will need to bring your own food, water, sleeping bag, folding chair, diapers, medications and any other supplies you may need for the long wait.


What can I expect?
Arrive as soon as you can and be prepared for a long day. We understand that it is a long wait and our only request is for your patience. The normal process that a patient goes through for care is:

    1. Waiting in line both outdoors and indoors.
    2. Patient registration. Volunteers will be available to help you fill out the information forms.
    3. Health history, blood pressure check and basic medical screening to determine that you are healthy enough to receive treatment.
    4. Basic dental screening, including X-ray, to determine which procedure can be done.
    5. Patient treatment waiting area for cleanings, fillings or removals. Again, your patience is appreciated.
    6. Treatment station where you will be seen by a dental professional.
    7. Patient checkout where you will receive follow-up instructions.

What is the length of time I should expect for my experience at IndianaMoM?
You should expect to spend the majority of your day with us. By the time you wait in line, have your medical screening, dental screening and treatment completed, it could be a 6-8 hour (or longer) event. Please be prepared for that amount of time. You will have access to restrooms.

What services are provided?
All patients will be examined by a licensed dentist to determine their most critical need. The most common services provided are tooth removals (extractions), tooth fillings (restorations) or teeth cleaning.

Will you be able to fix all of my dental problems?
That will depend on your needs. Only one major service is usually performed on each patient. We will do multiple extractions or fillings at one time, but you will not receive both of these services at one time. Our philosophy is to provide services to as many people as possible, rather than to provide many services to fewer people.

Do I need to live in Indiana?
No. We do not require you to live in Indiana to take advantage of the IndianaMoM charitable care event. However, any social services information and other resources will be aimed at Indiana residents.

Do I need an appointment?
No, we will not accept appointments for IndianaMoM. All services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis until we have reached our capacity for the day. Our capacity is determined by the number of professional volunteers present and cannot be predicted in advance of the opening of the IndianaMoM event.

When do I need to be there?
You should plan to arrive in the early morning hours. Patients usually begin arriving around midnight.  Dental examinations will begin at 7:30 a.m. each day. Please remember that services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis until we have reached our capacity for the day.

What should I bring with me?

    • Snacks and water for your long waiting periods
    • Adequate and appropriate clothing – we suggest layers and comfortable shoes
    • A supply of your daily medications and a list of all medications you are taking
    • Photo ID
    • Baby supplies such as diapers and formula for a full day (if necessary)
    • Lots of patience
    • A great attitude

Do I need insurance?
No. This is a completely free event. Because of the generosity of our volunteers and event sponsors, we will not be filing insurance or charging patients for the services.

Is there anything that would disqualify me from receiving treatment?
Each patient will undergo a simple medical screening at the start of your IndianaMoM experience. Some things that could prevent you from being treated include:

    • Fever at the time of treatment.
    • Uncontrolled or abnormally high blood pressure.
    • Abnormally high blood sugar levels (if you are diabetic).
    • A history of excessive bleeding.
    • Currently taking immunosuppressants.

Can someone come with me while I am being treated?
You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you to IndianaMoM. They can accompany you while outside the clinic, but we require them to stay in the family/friends waiting area once you enter the building. You will be able to rejoin them after you are finished.

There are multiple people in my family who need to be seen—is that possible?
Yes. However, we will require one parent/guardian to always be on site with children younger than 18 and to stay with children under 12 at all times.

Is there a limit as to how much treatment I can receive?
Due to limited supplies, time and volunteers, we are limited to the amount of treatment we can provide. Our first priority will be to treat your critical dental needs. When you enter our clinic, one of our volunteer dentists will meet with you and determine how we can help you best. The purpose of this type of clinic is to address any acute or painful dental needs first and to help as many individuals as possible.

What if I am pregnant?
Receiving dental care while you’re pregnant is safe. However, if you are pregnant we will need a statement from your ob/gyn doctor allowing us to provide the care you need.

What if I have a gum infection?
A severe or painful infection (abscess) will affect our ability to provide care to you. If you think you have an abscess, see a dentist or your primary care provider. If you cannot reach a dentist, go to a hospital’s emergency department for evaluation, especially if you feel sick.

Who will be performing the dental services or cleanings?
The IndianaMoM project is an outreach program of the Indiana Dental Association and the primary care providers are licensed dentists, hygienists and dental assistants. Some care may be provided by dental students from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. Whenever students are providing care, either teaching professors from the School of Dentistry or a designated adjunct professor supervises them. Students are allowed to perform only those procedures for which they have been previously qualified to perform.

Can you explain the process for receiving partials?
Lab Process: We do not create dentures. Our lab volunteers can create partials for front teeth only. This is a two-day process. You must attend Friday morning to be screened through Triage and Radiology; if it is possible to create a partial to meet your needs, our lab volunteers and volunteer dentists will take impressions to create your partial. You will need to return early Saturday to have the partial fitted and extractions performed if necessary. Please understand that supplies are limited and the lab can take only a limited number of cases at each clinic.

Are pets allowed at the IndianaMoM event?
No pets will be allowed. Only ADA service animals will be permitted in the facility. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. If the animals meet this definition, they are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

I’d like to tell others about this event. How can I promote it?
If you are interested in volunteering at IndianaMoM or encouraging others to do so, please download the IndianaMoM Volunteer Flyer and post where others may see it. If you are interested in sharing with other individuals (or organizations) who cannot otherwise afford or access care and may benefit from this charitable effort, please download a Patient Information Flyer and post where others may see it. You also are welcome to share this event through email and on Facebook.

Questions Still Not Answered?


What is Mission of Mercy (MoM)?
IndianaMoM is a large-scale dental clinic that provides free oral health care to patients of all ages who cannot otherwise afford or access care. MoM events across America have helped more than 135,000 patients and have provided nearly $76 million in free dental services since 2000.

IndianaMoM is held in odd-numbered years. Each event requires the help of about 1,000 volunteers and serves more than 1,000 patients over two days.