St. Vincent de Paul recently expanded its charity dental clinic to increase access to dental care for underserved children and adults in the Phoenix community. The Delta Dental of Arizona Oral Health Center at the Virginia G. Piper Medical & Dental Clinic expanded from eight to 16 chairs, allowing the staff to increase patient visits from 6,000 to more than 10,000 annually.
As one of the largest charity dental clinics of its kind in the country, the renovation and additional patient care spaces sets up its dental volunteers and staff to provide comprehensive oral healthcare to uninsured and low-income patients who otherwise would forgo even the most discounted dental care because of financial strain, the clinic reports.
“Within a month, I will see more severely medically compromised patients than you would see in private practice in five years,” said Dr. Ken Snyder, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul. “Without Delta Dental of Arizona and other generous donors in our community, this clinic and the types of procedures we offer patients or the training we do for dental students may not have been possible.”
In late 2017, Delta Dental of Arizona announced a $1 million gift to sustain the expanded clinic’s additional operational costs to ensure that preventive and emergency oral healthcare for underserved children and adults would be available for the next 10 years. In addition to comprehensive and emergency care, the clinic also offers endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, and oral surgery.
“There are very few organizations in the Phoenix area that do as much good work as St. Vincent de Paul does,” said Delta Dental of Arizona president and CEO Allan Allford. “They are not doing it right for their own notoriety. They are doing it right for the people who need it most. If you can walk into that clinic and not walk out with a changed heart, then you don’t have a heart.”
Delta Dental of Arizona also outfitted the dental volunteers and staff at the clinic with brand new scrubs to go with the brand new facility. The clinic expects to be fully operational with all chairs operating by the end of August and will begin accepting patients in the news pace at that time.