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Free East Bay dental clinic on tap for poor, uninsured – Times-Herald

The first patient in the free Dentistson Wheels pilot program in Pittsburgh was afraid of needing about $ 8,000 worth of dental care, but caries filling did.

For Shab Farzaneh, it was a sign that all the work she did in establishing the first free dental clinic in Contra Costa County with the help of volunteers was well worth their efforts. ..

“Sure, we were able to give her decent advice,” she said, worried that she couldn’t afford the recommended job with a $ 2,000 income after visiting a private dentist’s office. Farzaneh said about the first patient to do. Month. “There was no end. I don’t charge anyone, so I’m not going to overdiagnose anyone.”

It was last fall, and after a successful 11-week test run, Dentists on Wheels is now working with St. Vincent de Paul to build a permanent dental office at the Family Resource Center in 2210 Gladstone Drive.

Farzaneh, wife of an oral surgeon and former business consultant, began thinking about setting up a free dental clinic a few years ago after raising money for Operation Smile to help children with cleft palate. Many dentists also donated their services for that purpose, but others who didn’t have time to go to international missions wanted to know how they could help locally. ..

Alamo residents had no answer, and her research found that free dental services for uninsured people in the county were “huge,” but not.

Dismembered Hunt, Development Director of St. Vincent and the De Pauls in Contra Costa County, agreed on the need.

“We are helping people who are working hard to make a living (but not qualified for Medi-Cal). This healthcare and dental care program in the United States has been broken.” I’m trying to fix it, “she said.

Farzaneh was initially considering running a clinic from RV, but when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, she decided that a more spacious and permanent location would be better.

“We pivoted on what we learned,” Farzaneh said. “So we used that time (during the pandemic) to deepen our relationship with St. Vincent de Paul, one of the first nonprofits to say,” I need a dental office. ” “

Claudia Ramirez, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul, said nonprofits have long wanted to provide people with low-cost or free dental services. For several years, St. Vincent de Paul paid what he needed through donations, as many patients did not have dental insurance, partnering with two clinics that accepted Medi-Cal but did not offer free services. ..

According to Ramirez, the leaders of St. Vincent de Paul were happy to test run when they learned that Dentists on Wheels were about to open a clinic. In the meantime, it raised $ 100,000 through donations from Auckland’s private and Catholic parishes to build a 600-square-foot clinic.

“It’s very important because we all know that at some point we all have a toothache and it’s not fun,” she said.

Farzane also said he knew that many would lose good teeth because they chose to extract teeth to stop the pain rather than paying for expensive root canals and crowns around $ 2,000. ..

“They have lost their function for the rest of their lives,” Farzaneh said. “So I’m wondering how we can provide a higher level of service than just extraction.”

Farzaneh continued to work with one of her former Operation Smile volunteers and a group of pre-dental school students who helped analyze costs and dental clinic practice. Volunteers also created grants, solicited donations, and undertook other support activities for future clinics.

In addition to raising $ 35,000, Farzaneh’s team has raised about $ 400,000 worth of dental equipment to fill the new clinic.

A previous accidental encounter with an old friend, Dr. Genie C. Shimane, led Farsane to secure one of her first volunteer dentists.

Shimane Prefecture is a private practice, working in Sanriandro and Novato and moving to public dentistry, but said he also wanted to volunteer.

“I have the skills to help poor people with these services, and they are very grateful, do you know why I don’t?” She said. “I don’t feel like I’m doing anything special either, so I can get a lot from it, but they need someone who can do basic dental care, like a high-end treatment plan. You don’t even have to be. “

Shimane Prefecture said it has treated and screened everyone, from uninsured residents to uninsured, through a pilot program, and provided x-ray examinations and basic treatment.

Dr. Neda Oromchian, Clinic Director of Danville, a retired pediatric dentist with over 30 years of experience, has agreed to provide services free of charge while nonprofits bear the cost of the lab. Introduce patients to a list of dentists and specialists throughout the Bay Area. Fee.

“I have a lot of connections with the community, a good reputation, and a lot of good friends,” said Oromtian.

Oromchian emphasized the importance of caring for his teeth.

“Because you see the first signs of a particular cancer in your mouth, it’s really part of the overall health system, systemic, mental, kind of thing. Inflammation and periodontitis are also signs of certain immune disorders, etc. There are times, “she said. “When they aren’t taken care of, it means their health is also at stake.”

Oromchian said many of the first patients were introduced by St. Vincent de Paul, but the clinic is available to anyone without insurance below poverty levels, including undocumented ones.

“Overall, it feels like everyone in the world deserves the same quality of life,” Farzaneh added. “And no matter what country or family you were born in, it should not determine how you can live, and the lucky people you can give to the underprivileged. If so, why shouldn’t they? “

So far, 150 residents have been registered and screened for services, according to Farzane.

When construction is complete, the clinic will house three dental chairs and initially provide weekly service.

“We rely on people’s donations and ask everyone to really support us,” she said.

For more information, please visit. www.dentistsonwheels.org..

Free East Bay dental clinic on tap for poor, uninsured – Times-Herald Source link Free East Bay dental clinic on tap for poor, uninsured – Times-Herald

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