Appreciative patients share stories of pain relieved, smiles restored

In just over a month, CDA Cares volunteers will deliver no-cost dental services to an estimated 1,950 individuals who experience barriers to care. Over two days, March 8-9, at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, Calif., dentists, hygienists, lab technicians, dental assistants and other dental and medical professionals will volunteer their services and time, providing cleanings, extractions, root canals, dentures, temporary partial dentures, triage and oral health education. Community members will also contribute to the event’s success by volunteering as patient guides or language translators.

Moments made possible by all of the volunteers are captured in photos and video at each CDA Cares clinic and shared on the CDA Cares Facebook page and on CDA’s Instagram page and YouTube channel. They include stories like that of Michael, who received upper dentures and a lower stayplate at the Modesto event in October 2018.

Michael said that after the clinic he looked forward to heading to Monterey with his new smile to celebrate his 35-year wedding anniversary with his wife.

“The volunteers are awesome … the dentists … they really, really take care of you and give you the feeling that they want to do good by you in every way they can possibly do,” Michael said. “So I’m very appreciative and very happy!”

At CDA Cares Anaheim in April 2018, a patient named Stephanie who had been without dental benefits for many years sat down for her screening expecting to learn that she would need to have at least three teeth extracted due to pain she was experiencing. Instead, she was relieved to hear she could keep her teeth and that they only needed a cleaning.

“I ate dinner without pain last night for the first time in a long time,” Stephanie said. She also shared that the cleaning enabled her to add flossing back into her regular oral health care routine at home.

The Foundation continues to seek volunteers in all clinical areas but especially oral surgeons, lab techs and nurses and physicians for medical triage. Online volunteer registration will remain open through midnight Sunday, March 3, but registering early helps ensure volunteers receive their first-choice placement.

Register to volunteer on the Foundation website. Find volunteer FAQ covering orientation, roles and requirements, clinic setup, parking and more at cdafoundation.org/cares.