Dental Program Marks 10th Anniversary
54,000 visits and still going strong
In 2008, Marin Community Clinics opened its first dental clinic for low income residents. In response to a State mandate, we focused most of our efforts on pediatric dentistry. That first year, we operated just six dental chairs and served 5,500 children.
Since then, the program has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, we have 27 dental chairs and 100 staff. We provide care to both adults and children in three state-of-the- art facilities; in 2017, the team provided close to 54,000 services.
Going above and beyond
“We do a lot more besides cleaning teeth and treating dental decay,” reports Connie Kadera, DDS, Chief Dental Officer. “We have a strong focus on prevention and oral hygiene education. And, consistent with our ‘health home’ approach, we work closely with medical providers to ensure integrated care. We also offer weekend and evening hours and have designated times for pregnant women to protect them from nitrous oxide.”
“Right now, Marin Community Clinics has a robust pediatric dental program,” explains Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH, CEO, “but we plan to serve more adults. The need is great – many have had minimal-to-no dental care, which can have an impact on their overall well-being.”
“It’s a challenge. Adults often require extensive work and more frequent visits, but there is no Medi-Cal funding like there is for children. Our sliding fee scale helps some of them; for others, we rely on the generosity of our donors to cover the costs of the care.”
Regardless of the challenges, the Clinics’ Dental Program will continue to grow to meet community need. And added plus: our patients love us!