The California Dental Association (CDA) Foundation’s volunteer dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided $1,537,951 in charitable dental services to 2,019 people during its April 27-28 event at the Anaheim Convention Center.
“People come here with severe pain and infection and to see them leave smiling because they were able to get the help they needed is so rewarding,” said CDA president Natasha Lee, DDS. “It’s clear there’s a desperate need in our state. I’m happy we’re able to help.”
During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals provided more than 11,858 procedures, including fillings, extractions, cleanings, and oral health education. Volunteer technicians in the clinic’s dental lab also worked to provide 181 complete and partial dentures and repairs.
Nearly 2,000 volunteers donated their time and services, including health professionals such as dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, nurses, and lab technicians, and hundreds of community volunteers who assisted with registration, translation, data entry, and guiding patients.
In addition to providing dental services at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care, CDA Cares educations the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need for improvements to the state’s Medi-Cal dental program, CDA reports.
“The number of people we see in line at our events speaks to the need for Denti-Cal improvements,” said Lee. “Between a recent rate increase and the full reinstatement of adult benefits, there’s clearly been a move in the right direction, but the program still leaves many people with difficulty accessing care. Our hope is that with a continued commitment from the state, we’ll see more dentists able to participate.”
CDA Cares relies on support from sponsors such as Global Experience Specialists, Henry Schein, Planmeca USA, Sota Imaging, Western Dental, and the Dentists Insurance Company. Also, the California Department of Public Health’s Oral Health Program awarded CDA Cares Anaheim a $131,000 grant made available by California’s new tobacco tax. The next CDA Cares event will be held October 26-27 in Modesto.