Monday, Apr 18, 2016
The California Dental Association Foundation’s volunteer dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided $1.5 million in charitable dental services to 1,884 people during the April 16-17, 2016 event at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. In addition to providing dental services at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care, CDA Cares educates the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need for an adequately funded dental safety net, which includes a well-functioning Denti-Cal program.
"These events highlight the tremendous oral health need in California and it's an incredible feeling to know that we are able to help nearly 1,900 people in just two day," said CDA President Ken Wallis, DDS.
"CDA is always looking for ways to improve access to care, and one of the things we're doing this year is sponsoring a ballot measure to raise the state's tobacco tax, which will support health care programs, save Californians billions of dollars and save thousands of lives."
While final numbers are still being tallied, preliminary estimates indicate more than 1,600 tooth extractions were necessary at CDA Cares in Ventura - a sad statistic, since dental disease is preventable. During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals provided 11,583 dental procedures, including fillings, extractions, cleanings and oral health education. Volunteer technicians in the clinic’s dental lab area worked to provide 188 complete and partial dentures and repairs.
“It’s a great feeling to know you’ve helped someone by relieving their pain or infection. Patients hug us and leave smiling because they were able to get the help they needed,” said Jean Creasey, DDS, chair of the CDA Foundation. “This event was a huge success and we wouldn’t be able to host these events without the support of local volunteers and sponsors. We appreciate all the help we received from the Ventura community.”
More than 1,400 volunteers donated their time and services at the event, including 750 health professionals – dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, nurses and lab technicians – as well as hundreds of community volunteers who assisted with registration, translation, data entry and escorting patients.
The California Dental Association Foundation is planning another CDA Cares event this year in Stockton Oct. 15-16.
For information about CDA Cares or to register to volunteer, visit www.cdafoundation.org