Hosted by the California Dental Association Foundation and CDA, the CDA Cares volunteer dental program provided more than $1.9 million in charitable dental services to 2,099 people Oct. 2-3 in Fresno.
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.
“Being able to impact the lives of more than 2,000 people during one event is just incredible,” said CDA President Walt Weber, DDS. “We appreciate the recent attention that oral health has received from the state, but there’s still a tremendous need because California’s Denti-Cal program remains chronically underfunded and has many bureaucratic barriers for providers. The system is broken and it needs to be fixed.”
While final numbers are still being tallied, preliminary estimates indicate nearly 2,500 tooth extractions were necessary at CDA Cares in Fresno – a sad statistic, since dental disease is preventable.
During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals provided 14,620 dental procedures, including fillings, extractions, cleanings and oral health education. Volunteer technicians in the clinic’s dental lab area worked to provide 291 complete and partial dentures and repairs.
More than 1,300 volunteers donated their time and services at the event, including 708 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.
“We received a remarkable amount of support from the Fresno community and our sponsors, which are both vital to the success of these events,” said Don Rollofson, DMD, chair of the CDA Foundation. “We appreciate the dedication we’ve seen from the dental community, individual volunteers and our sponsors in helping us continue these events and providing care to those in need.”
CDA Cares Fresno received support from the following major sponsors: Benco Dental, Carestream Dental, The Del E. Webb Foundation, Western Dental, Saint Agnes Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Fresno, Community Regional Medical Center, First Five Tulare, Scripps Oral Pathology, Patterson Foundation, Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center, Pact-One, Henry Schein Cares, and SaveMart Supermarkets.
The California Dental Association Foundation is planning another CDA Cares event next year in Ventura on April 16-17.
For information about CDA Cares and to register to volunteer, visit cdafoundation.org.