CDA Cares sponsors help make San Diego a success

The CDA Cares San Diego volunteer dental clinic at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in December provided more than $1.6 million in charitable dental services to 2,203 patients, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of some key sponsors.

Presenting Sponsor Benco Dental Company, which has backed the program since the first CDA Cares event in Modesto in May 2012, the county of San Diego, Carestream Dental, Patterson Dental, Henry Schein, Aribex, Farmers Insurance and more all provided significant support for the CDA Cares volunteer dental program on Dec. 7-8.

“These sponsors are the backbone of CDA Cares, because without them, along with the tremendous work of volunteer dentists, we wouldn’t be able to provide the care we do,” said CDA Foundation Chair Don Rollofson, DMD.

Benco Dental provided much-needed supplies, including burs, anesthetic, needles, sutures, Prophy Paste and Prophy Angles, disinfecting wipes and personal protective equipment such as disposable gowns, masks and gloves. But beyond supplies, a number of the company’s employees volunteered at the two-day clinic.

“Within our organization, almost all the folks in each one of the regions we are associated with come together and are involved with helping support this program: service technicians, sales people, equipment specialists,” said Brian Evans, Benco Dental, director of sales, West Coast. “No one seems to have any issue with jumping in and helping out.”

Sher Cox, Benco Dental territory representative, San Diego, served as the lead of the central supply area at CDA Cares San Jose in May 2013, and she was back at it again in San Diego.

“I was so taken and inspired in San Jose by the amount of people that were changed forever by what we were doing, and central supply was the heartbeat of the whole process,” Cox said. “I’m so inspired by this process and I thank CDA for taking the time and all these doctors’ efforts for what they are doing.”

Benco Dental is a privately owned, full-service dental distributor that has remained a family business since Benjamin J. Cohen, a Russian immigrant living in Philadelphia, founded it in 1930. During Benco’s history, the company has grown from a single storefront location in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., into a dental distributor with more than 50 regional showroom locations and five distribution centers servicing more than 30,000 dental professionals in 40-plus states. In California, Benco has showrooms in Costa Mesa (CenterPoint West), San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno, and covers the Southern and Central California regions. The company hopes to expand into the Bay Area in 2014.

Carestream Dental, another premier sponsor for CDA Cares, is an industry-leading dental equipment company that focuses on imaging systems and practice management solutions for dental and oral health professionals across the world.

Carestream donated more than a dozen sensors, three digital panoramic machines as well as supplies and personnel in San Diego. In total, nine employees from Carestream volunteered at CDA Cares San Diego.

“They’ve been here from 5 a.m. until about 7 p.m. every day, but everybody really leaves energized and enjoys it. It’s such a rewarding event,” said Matt Hendrickson, Carestream Dental, regional director.

“It really makes what we do feel a lot more rewarding,” Hendrickson continued. “I feel great about what we are doing here and, literally, the dentistry that is being done at this event changes lives so it’s just amazing to be a part of that …  it carries over, I think, to what we do when we go back into the office on the next day.”

Sean Sullivan, branch manager at Patterson Dental, which is another key CDA Cares sponsor, enjoyed volunteering as a patient escort in San Diego.

“It’s been a great experience … I’ve seen different stages of their treatment and the best part is escorting them out with a big smile on their face,” Sullivan said.

Patterson Dental Supply contributed disposable dental supplies and intra-oral and extra-oral imaging technologies at the San Diego clinic.

Since 1877, Patterson has been involved in its local communities. Patterson Companies Inc. provides supplies, equipment, technology and services to the dental, veterinary and rehabilitation supply markets through its Patterson Dental Webster Veterinary and Patterson Medical businesses.

CDA Cares is a program that allows volunteer dentists, with the assistance of other dental professionals and community volunteers, to provide dental services at no charge to patients who experience barriers to care. This program also educates the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need for an adequately funded dental safety net and a strong state infrastructure, including a state dental director, who can develop programs to improve the oral health of Californians.

Since 2012, the CDA Cares volunteer dental program has provided $6 million in care to more than 8,000 patients.

The next CDA Cares event is scheduled to be held in Solano County,  April 25-26. For more information, to register to volunteer, donate or become a sponsor, visit cdafoundation.org.