A toothache is a dull, incessant pain that is a sign to visit our dentist. For our neighbors in need without dental insurance, it is the beginning of a life-altering crisis. To help our neighbors in need in the throes of dental pain, St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County has partnered with Dentists on Wheels to construct and operate the new Dentists on Wheels Pittsburg Free Dental Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul – the first dedicated free dental clinic in the County.
Executive Director and Founder of Dentists on Wheels Shab Farzaneh said, “My family volunteered to pass out food to the homeless, and we noticed that we were handing food to people without teeth. My husband is an oral surgeon, and he explained that for many it is just cheaper to solve their tooth pain by extraction.”
SVdP has a history of providing care to the uninsured having opened the RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul more than 10 years ago. The partnership with DoW presents an opportunity to expand care. With a permanent dental clinic located at the SVdP Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, volunteer professionals have a dedicated space from which to offer care. The new free dental clinic will not only help those in need with acute pain issues, but provide preventative care to transform the lives of our neighbors.
The ribbon cutting for the free dental clinic was on September 23rd. SVdP and DoW were proud to host Pittsburg Mayor Merl Craft, who said, “It is hard to overstate how essential dental care is to a person’s well-being – physicallyand mentally. When you’re living with pain or without your teeth, it affects your self-esteem and it can affect your ability to find and hold a job. Fighting poverty and providing dental care go hand-in-hand.”
Hundreds of our neighbors in need have already signed up to receive care at the free dental clinic. Thanks to YOUR extreme generosity, SVdP and DoW will improve the lives, and the smiles, of thousands of our neighbors in need.