Millions of Californians, including low-income children, the elderly and people with disabilities, face barriers to accessing dental care. The California Dental Association and CDA Foundation host CDA Cares, a program that allows volunteer dentists, with the assistance of other dental professionals and community volunteers, to provide dental services at no charge to an average of 1,950 people at each event.
Through CDA Cares, efforts to educate the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need for an continued improvements to the state Medi-Cal Dental Program are having an impact. Thanks in large part to advocacy associated with CDA Cares events, the state fully restored adult Medi-Cal dental benefits in 2017 after eliminating and then partially restoring them in previous years. While this is a positive step for the Medi-Cal Dental Program, multiple barriers to dental care remain and CDA Cares serves as a safety net for many people needing relief from the pain and infection of untreated dental disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many of the events and programs that bring needed care to underserved communities in California. Today, the CDA Foundation made the difficult decision to postpone its next CDA Cares volunteer dental clinic due to current state and federal public health guidance related to COVID-19.
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