The Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation has awarded $1 million to the St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Dental Clinic in Phoenix, helping to ensure both preventive and emergency oral healthcare for underserved children and adults for the next 10 years.
“We trust, and know, St. Vincent de Paul will execute our vision to provide improved oral health for Arizonans and are pleased to be able to participate in the delivery of additional quality dental care to more patients in need,” said Allan Allford, Delta Dental of Arizona president and CEO. “A gift of this magnitude is unprecedented in our 45-year history. It’s a first for us and the right thing for us to do.”
Since demand for care currently exceeds its capacity, the clinic uses a dental lottery for choosing its adult patients. Most services—designed to help patients be free of pain and infection, be able to chew, and look reasonably well—are free of charge. Emergency appointments to relieve pain and infection are offered as space allows as well.
Noting that 54% of children have untreated cavities, the clinic also works with local schools to identify children who have serious dental needs but not the ability to address them. It then provides these children with comprehensive dental care and orthodontics plans including oral hygiene education regardless of their insurance status.
Last year, SVdP embarked on a capital campaign to double the size of its dental clinic to better serve its patients. By 2019, it will expand to 18 chairs and provide dental services to more than 10,000 patients a year. The $1 million will be used to help sustain its operations through 2027, and it will be renamed the Delta Dental Oral Health Center.
“Thanks to the generosity of Delta Dental of Arizona, St. Vincent de Paul will be able to continue to deliver state-of-the-art care at our dental clinic to Arizonans who have nowhere else to turn for help,” said SVdP executive director Steve Zabilski.
“This donation is much more than just helping fix our patients’ smile. It’s life-changing as they can now attend school or work pain-free, and we see their self-esteem soar, making the difference between them landing a new job or promotion,” Zabilski said.
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