FAQs - All Volunteers

What is it?

The FDA Foundation launched its signature philanthropic program in 2014, theFlorida Mission of Mercy (FLA-MOM). FLA-MOM is the state's largest charitable dental clinic that provides care to any patient at no cost, with the goal of serving the underserved and uninsured in Florida.

The Florida Mission of Mercy seeks to have a positive impact on communities by providing important access to dental care while restoring dignity and creating smiles.

We are happy to announce that the ninth Florida Mission of Mercy will be held in Lakeland, FL at the RP Funding Center.

Florida Mission of Mercy
May 31 - June 1, 2024
Lakeland, FL

When and where is it?

We are happy to announce that the ninth Florida Mission of Mercy will be held in Lakeland, FL at the RP Funding Center, 701 West Lime Street, Lakeland, FL 33815

Florida Mission of Mercy
May 31 - June 1, 2024
Lakeland, FL

Where do I stay?

FLA-MOM has arranged for a discounted room block at the Hyatt Place Lakeland Center, 525 West Orange Street, Lakeland, FL 33815. The cost per night is $209.00. Please see the link below to make your reservation:

Below is an interactive map of surrounding hotels for your convenience.

How do I register to volunteer?

Volunteer registration is closed at this time.  Thank you to all of the 2,000 volunteers who have registered to volunteer!

We have limited volunteer shifts for prosthodontics lab techs and dentists to volunteer in pediatrics, prosthodontics and endodontics.  Please reach out to foundation@floridadental.org and a staff member can assist you.

Is there a minimum age for volunteers?

Due to liability reasons, all FLA-MOM volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

When volunteering, please do not bring children or siblings under the age of 18 with you - this is for safety and liability reasons.

What services will be provided?

  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Root canals
  • Oral health education
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • X-rays
  • Limited number of dentures and partials

What services will NOT be provided?

  • Bone grafting
  • Braces
  • Crowns
  • Extraction of unerupted wisdom teeth
  • Gum surgery
  • Implants
  • Narcotics
  • Tooth whitening (bleaching)

What can volunteers and patients expect at FLA-MOM?

Our goal is to treat as many people as we can while placing a priority on relieving dental pain and treating infections.

Patients will begin with registration and oral health education before they are assessed in medical triage. Patients will then receive a full panoramic X-ray followed by a consultation in dental triage to determine the patient's most urgent need.

In order to treat as many patients as possible, treatment is limited to one quadrant of the patient’s mouth where there is the most critical need. Once primary treatment is complete, patients may get back in line for additional treatment if we are still accepting patients for the day.

I really want to volunteer, but I am unable to commit to both clinic days. May I volunteer for a half day?

Yes! There are several shift options available. You can volunteer anywhere from a half-day shifts to the whole weekend and/or help clinic set-up.

What should I wear?

All volunteers will be given a FLA-MOM T-shirt, which they will be required to wear during the clinic. Dress is casual, but please wear long pants and comfortable closed-toe shoes.

Will there be designated parking for FLA-MOM volunteers?

Volunteers will receive parking instructions, a parking map, and a parking pass one week prior to the event. Designated disabled spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

FLA Mission of Mercy waiting area

Will there be food available for volunteers at the FLA-MOM?

Yes, FLA-MOM provides breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages for volunteers.

Food selection may vary - please know that we are serving more than 500 volunteers per meal. If you have special dietary needs, you may want to consider packing a cooler with items specific to your needs.

What do I need to know to volunteer for a clinical position?

All clinical volunteers must be licensed by the state of Florida or complete an out-of-state registration. License numbers are required on the volunteer registration form and will be verified before the event. Anyone directly involved with patient care is required to have a current hepatitis vaccination.

Please note: Out-of-state dentists must register by a designated deadline in order to allow time for your credentials to be reviewed. After completing the initial registration, a link will be emailed in order to provide additional information and upload documentation.

Tooth cleaning

What should I tell individuals who are interested in obtaining care at the FLA-MOM?

Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Patients who are in pain often have an accompanying infection.

FLA-MOM does not want anyone to wait until the event to seek critical dental or medical attention, as delaying could lead to more serious consequences.

While the goal is to be able to treat as many patients as possible, there is no guarantee of treatment. Every attempt will be made to care for those who are present.

I'm not a dental health professional. How can I help at the FLA-MOM?

It takes approximately 1,000 non-dental volunteers to support FLA-MOM in positions such as:

  • Patient Registration
  • Volunteer Registration
  • Hospitality
  • Translators
  • X-Ray Technicians
  • Lab Technicians
  • Patient Ambassadors (escort patients through departments)
  • Parking
  • Physicians & Nurses
  • EMTs

If I can't volunteer at the clinic, is there another way I can help the FLA-MOM?

If you are unable to volunteer, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to FLA-MOM by visiting flamom.org.

Can I earn Continuing Education credit for volunteering at FLA-MOM?

Please note that all volunteers will receive a volunteer certificate with their service hours. Clinical volunteers may use this volunteer certificate and self-report hours needed to appropriate agencies.

Credit awarded for tpro bono volunteer hours is accepted at the discretion of the agency to which you report CEU's. Per the Florida Board of Dentistry, "Dentists and dental hygienists may obtain a maximum of six (6) hours per biennium of required continuing education credit for participating in such programs.  Continuing education credit shall be calculated at a ratio of 1 continuing education credit for each 1 hour of patient services provided to approved programs." FS 64B5-12.013(8)e

Florida licensed attendees must self-report pro bono credit hours to CE Broker for license renewal.  These credits will be reported to the category "pro bono services."

CEU credit is only applicable for clinical shifts.  Non-clinical volunteer shifts will not be accepted for pro bono CEU credit.

I have a dental license from another state. Can I still volunteer?

Yes. Dentists from out of state can treat patients at FLA-MOM, provided they complete the required out-of-state dentist registration information and are approved by a third-party screening authority. The deadline to register as an out-of-state dentist is April 19, 2024.

Volunteers with inactive Florida dental licenses or those who do not wish to apply for a temporary license can volunteer in other areas such as Central Supply, Sterilization, Dental Laboratory, Patient Education, etc. 

Please note: Out-of-state hygienists are NOT able to treat patients at FLA-MOM. Additionally, foreign-trained dentists can volunteer as a dental assistant but cannot directly treat patients as a dentist.

Dental treatment, patient holding mirror to watch

Do I need liability insurance to treat patients at FLA-MOM?

Licensed dentists and hygienists do not need to have their own malpractice insurance to practice at FLA-MOM. The FDA Foundation’s insurance through The Doctor’s Company will cover licensed dentists and licensed hygienists providing treatment at the clinic.

Can I work with my dental team or will I be individually assigned?

Dental teams are encouraged to volunteer together. If you wish to volunteer with a specific person, please sign up for the same shift and meet on-site to work together.

Dentists and assistants who do not have someone to practice with will be paired with another volunteer on-site.

Where do I go first? How do I pick up my volunteer package?

All volunteers must check in at Volunteer Registration before entering the clinic or breakroom.

Volunteers will receive their name badge, T-shirt, and drawstring backpack.

In the weeks leading up to the event, volunteers will receive emails with information on parking, where to go, and what to bring.

Can dental students or hygiene students treat patients?

FLA-MOM has many wonderful learning opportunities for students. We encourage all  students to volunteer in positions where they can interact with patients, such as Patient Education, exit interviews, escorting patients, or assisting in dental, hygiene, or sterilization departments.

How do I provide proof I volunteered at the FLA-MOM to my employer?

Following the event, clinical volunteers will receive an email with their service hours to self-report hours. Non-clinical volunteers will receive proof of service hours as well.

Is there anything I shouldn’t bring?

Please do not bring weapons of ANY kind, illegal substances or anything of value.

Please leave your personal belongings at home or locked in your vehicle. We do not have a secured area for personal belongings and want to avoid tripping hazards on the clinic floor. Drawstring backpacks will be given to all volunteers for small items such as keys, wallet, cell phone. We ask that you wear your backpack throughout the event.

Please do not bring latex gloves or anything containing latex as some volunteers/patients may be allergic to latex.

Attendees with backpacks