3M Oral Care donated nearly $740,000 worth of products to 27 dental clinics in the America’s ToothFairy Dental Resource Program in 2020, including Triple Layer Molded Face Masks to help replenish essential PPE supplies.
“Many of our program members stepped up to help at the beginning of the pandemic by donating the PPE they had on hand to their local hospitals,” said America’s ToothFairy executive director Jill Malmgren.
“Months later, they discovered that the extra PPE they needed to reopen safely was in short supply,” Malmgren said. “We are so grateful for 3M, who provided many essential supplies as soon as our members were allowed to reopen and continued to give through the end of the year.”
While the measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have taken their toll on businesses across the board, according to America’s ToothFairy, nonprofit dental clinics have been much more extensively impacted.
In addition to the steep costs of reopening, reductions to staff, and nearly impossible community outreach, the nonprofit organization said, many clinics have seen an increase in emergency and costly urgent treatment for children who had to delay treatment until offices were allowed to reopen.
Also, costs to reopen and the time and resources needed to clean the clinic and operatories after every patient have been a staggering blow to nonprofit dental clinics, America’s ToothFairy said.
Traditional dental offices may simply pass those costs along to the patient, but this is not an option for clinics serving low-income patients who are either uninsured or count on state-funded programs to pay for care.
“We have been a proud supporter of America’s ToothFairy,” said Eric Wenzel, director of 3M Oral Care in the United States and Canada.
“In times of crisis, we believe it is our duty to step up and do all we can to ensure organizations that serve our nation’s most vulnerable populations, especially children, have what they need to fulfill their mission,” Wenzel said.
Additional donated products included Paradigm DeepCure Curing Lights and Elipar DeepCure-S Curing Lights, hygiene products, crowns, adhesives, and cements. Items were distributed to DRP members in 12 states, including Cass Community Health Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.
“Our Cass County Dental Clinic dentists were super-excited about this donation,” said Cynthia Randazzo, the foundation’s president. “It is so helpful as we have spent so much unbudgeted funds on PPE as we reopened full-time to the children we serve.”