CDA Cares Solano provides nearly $1.3 million in oral health care

The CDA Foundation’s volunteer dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided nearly $1.3 million in charitable dental services to 1,491 people at the Solano County Fairgrounds March 8-9.

During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals performed 8,955 procedures, including fillings, extractions and cleanings. Additionally, the clinic provided patients with oral health education. 

“Being able to impact the lives of so many and offer nearly $1.3 million in care in just two days is truly remarkable,” said CDA President Del Brunner, DDS. “Even with recent improvements to the state’s Medi-Cal Dental Program, CDA continues to look for ways to expand access to care.” 

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 continued improvements to the state’s Medi-Cal Dental Program.

About five million people living in California have no dental insurance and face barriers to care. Nita, a patient at the Solano event, has not been to the dentist since she lost her job and dental benefits seven years ago. In urgent need of treatment, she found relief with CDA Cares.

“I learned I had some really bad cavities and was told I needed a root canal. I freaked out because I’m on Social Security and have no dental insurance,” said Nita. “This has been a lifesaver for me. I thought there was no way for me to take care of this until I heard about this clinic on TV.”

For another patient, coming to CDA cares was the first step to sustaining a better oral health routine. Sandy, who received a filling, had not been to the dentist in over 20 years. She came to CDA Cares because she wants to take better care of her teeth.

“I now have dental insurance, but I’ve just been too embarrassed to go to the dentist,” said Sandy. “This will be my start to regular visits and maintaining my dental health so that I can keep my teeth until I’m 100!”

More than 1,200 volunteers donated their time and services at the event, including health professionals — dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental students, nurses and lab technicians — and hundreds of community volunteers who assisted with registration, language translation, data entry and guiding patients.

“I am so impressed by the volunteers here,” said Nita. “Everyone is so nice and friendly and they walk you through everything. I appreciate them being here to help us with our dental care.”

CDA Cares is made possible by new and continued support from community members and key sponsors such as Solano County, GES, Henry Schein, Planmeca USA, Western Dental, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, NorthBay Healthcare, Dorothy Frisbee Trust, Tokuyama Dental, Valero Benicia Refinery, Sutter Health and Larell One Step Denture, TDIC and TDSC.

The CDA Foundation is planning another CDA Cares event to be held Sept. 27-28 at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino.

For more information, visit the CDA Cares page on the Foundation website.  

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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 professionals will volunteer their services and time, providing cleanings, extractions, root canals, dentures, triage and oral health education. The Foundation still seeks volunteers in all clinical areas, especially oral surgeons, lab techs and nurses and physicians for medical triage.

'I always leave CDA Cares with renewed pride in my profession'
Q&A with CDA Cares Solano committee chair James Sanderson, DDS
Fairfield native James Sanderson, DDS, was made for his role as chair of the CDA Cares Solano Local Arrangements Committee. Not just because he’s a longtime resident of Solano County, with the extensive community connections that are so critical to creating a successful volunteer-run dental clinic, but also because he’s done this before.

Dentistry is not the first career for Debra Peterson, DMD. She enjoyed a long career in the nursery and landscaping industries before her volunteer stints in dentistry — first for CDA Presents and then CDA Cares — inspired her to put down the landscaping tools, at least part-time, and take up new some shiny new instruments.