Volunteers Treat Thousands for Free in California



Dentists and dental team members provided nearly $1.8 million in free oral healthcare services and education to more than 2,000 patients at CDA Cares, which took place at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, Calif, on October 15 and October 16. These 14,718 procedures included fillings and cleanings, as well as 2,365 extractions. Volunteer technicians in the lab also provided 250 complete and partial dentures and repairs.

“Our CDA Cares program provides a significant impact throughout the state. At this clinic alone we were able to provide care and relieve pain and infection for more than 2,060 people,” said California Dental Association (CDA) president Ken Wallis, DDS. “Despite recent efforts to improve the Denti-Cal program, it remains chronically underfunded and people have trouble accessing care. The number of people we see at these events speaks to that need.”

“Seeing someone come to CDA Cares with pain or infection and leave smiling and in better health is heartwarming,” said Jean Creasey, DDS, chair of the CDA Foundation, which organized the event and promotes oral health awareness among the public and policymakers alike. “And to work with so many volunteers with the same goal of getting patients out of pain and in better health is incredibly rewarding.”

More than 2,500 volunteers donated their time and services to the event, including 850 health professionals such as dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, nurses, and laboratory technicians, in addition to community volunteers who assisted with registration, translation, data entry, and patient escort. The next CDA Cares event will be April 22 and April 23, 2017, in San Mateo, Calif.

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