Providence caregivers provide free dental care to under and uninsured local children
On February 2, 2023, nearly a dozen Providence caregivers from our dental and mobile dental clinics in Sonoma County provided free oral health care to nearly 50 underserved children as part of the national Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) event. Providence was one of six organizations across Sonoma County who participated in this event which is held annually in collaboration with Community Action Partnership (CAP). 2023 marks the 15th year our dental teams have participated in this national event.
“Establishing a dental home for children in our community is a top priority,” said Arturo Martinez, manager of the dental and mobile dental clinics in Sonoma County. “Our participation [in this event] helps end needless suffering from dental pain and builds good oral health habits for a lifetime. Many patients [we see] haven’t been to a dentist in years, if ever. When patients come into our office apprehensive and fearful, it is one of the best things to witness them leaving with a big smile on their face!”
The dental clinic cared for nearly 50 patients during the one-day event, treating and screening children, teenagers and young adults ranging from 1 to 22 years of age. In addition to x-rays and exams, the clinic provided fluoride varnish, several fillings and extractions as well as emergency care. Each patient was given a take-home kit, provided by Community Action Partnership, which includes toothbrushes, floss, 2-minute hourglass brushing timer, and toothpaste to encourage healthy habits.
This event epitomizes the care our dental clinics provide daily to our community members, honoring our mission of serving all, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. Each year approximately 6,500 dentists and 30,000 dental team members volunteer at GKAS events held at locations across the country to provide free oral health education, screenings and preventive and restorative treatment to over 300,000 children. To date, over 7 million underserved children have received free oral health services through GKAS.