The Need is Great—and the Community Responds

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Dr. Lawrence Falender of Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center participates in the first Indiana Mission of Mercy (IndianaMOM) event in Indianapolis to help provide free dental services to the local community

4 a.m. came early on Saturday, April 25, for Dr. Lawrence Falender as he headed out to participate in the first Indiana Mission of Mercy (IndianaMOM) event in Indianapolis. Held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and hosted by the Indiana Dental Association Foundation for Dental Health, Inc. (IFDH), IndianaMOM aimed to provide free dental care and education to approximately 2,000 uninsured patients of all ages over the two-day event.

In addition to free dental services, IndianaMOM educated patients on the importance of regular dental care and how to maintain good oral health habits. According to a Gallup poll conducted last year, one-third of all Americans did not visit a dentist in the past 12 months. A disconcerting statistic, considering a lack of dental care can lead to a host of ancillary general health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues and even dementia.

“I think that many people just don’t know what to do when it comes to oral health, and the ramifications of not having done so materializes in my private practice on a daily basis,” said Dr. Falender, a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon practicing in the Indianapolis area since 1987. “I am honored to help the people of our community who just need a hand, and I know many other professionals feel the same way.”

The partnership between IndianaMOM and local professionals was a successful endeavor: While Dr. Falender and his colleagues provided immediate dental care this weekend to those who may have gone years without a visit to the dentist, IndianaMOM worked with patients to find suitable resources in the hopes of providing a long-term solution.

“Oral health hasn’t been a big enough focus in healthcare, but that is changing,” Dr. Falender stated. “The simple fact is that poor oral hygiene can cause other complications. We need our mouths to be healthy.”

IndianaMOM ran from 6am Friday, April 24 and again on Saturday, April 25 until supplies ran out.

To find out more about IndianaMOM and other oral health resources, please visit and

About Dr. Falender, DDS
Dr. Falender is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He has practiced oral and maxillofacial surgery, implant surgery, and laser surgery in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 1987. Dr. Falender is a graduate of Indiana University and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Indiana University School of Dentistry. He completed his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at New York‘s Lincoln Medical Center, an affiliate of New York Medical College. Dr. Falender is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and a Fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Falender is a frequent lecturer on implant dentistry and has published numerous articles. He is an Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Indiana University School of Dentistry.

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Deva Sexton

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