By Nate Kunzman, D.M.D., COMOM Board of Directors
From the Winter 2021 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
One of my favorite things to participate in every year is the Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM). It is just an incredible experience seeing hundreds of dentists from all over the state come together to help those in need. As many of you know, there are countless people hurting out there. The thought of taking care of their teeth simply overwhelms them. Even the most basic services like simple fillings seem impossible due to cost and time. So many hardworking Coloradans put off their dental care and find themselves in even worse shape down the road. We, as dentists, can only do so much. We offer payment plans, deal with frustrating network fees and deductions, and even end up doing some of our very skilled work for free to help those who are really struggling.
Volunteering side-by-side just two days a year at COMOM with so many compassionate dentists really brings out the best in our dental community. It shows our patients that we do care, and we are willing to make a difference when and where we can. When we had to make the hard decision to cancel COMOM in 2020, I wasn’t alone in my sadness. So many patients look to those few days each year to get much-needed dental care and to have their dental pain alleviated.
We had to do something special. To keep the heart of COMOM alive, dentists across the state have been reaching out to those most in need and providing them with free care in the name of COMOM. Dentists are performing acts of kindness as small as a simple filling on one patient to crowns and root canals on multiple patients. No matter how small or how big the contribution is, it makes a difference. Not only does it give much needed care to a person or persons in need, but it shows Colorado once again that the dentists in their state are some of the best in the country.
Dr. Devin Rentz and his dental team saw the extra need to help spread smiles and created the first ever “Stonegate Dental CARES” event. The team connected with local charities and domestic abuse shelters to identify patients. “We provided cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings, extractions, crowns and even endo!” said Dr. Rentz. “In the end, we saw over 25 patients and provided almost $16,000 in free dental treatment.”
Dr. Sam Olson became a first-time COMOM volunteer this year. “We are new to COMOM this year and found a nice gentleman who was in need of a cleaning, some fillings and partials,” said Dr. Olson. “We were happy to have the opportunity to participate in the COMOM Challenge this year. We look forward to seeing you in 2021!”
Join Your Colleagues and Take the COMOM Challenge!
Here’s how it works:
- Treat a patient with dental needs in your office, at no cost, on behalf of COMOM.
- Take a photo with your office team holding COMOM signs (download at comom.org) by your office logo.
- Email your photo to email@example.com.
- Share your story on social media using the hashtag #COMOMchallenge.
COMOM is a two-day, free dental clinic that is held in a Colorado community each year. These annual clinics provide dental care to those who do not have access to care for various reasons. Since its inception in 2007, COMOM dentists have treated over 17,000 patients and provided approximately $15,000,000 in donated oral healthcare services.
Have questions? Go to COMOM.org or call/text 720-626-9778.