California Dental Association Foundation provides pro bono dental services and oral health education to Californians who experience barriers to care. The main goal of the clinic is to reduce pain and infection. In addition to providing care, they conduct a media and grass roots campaign to educate the public about the importance of maintaining good oral health and educate policymakers at the local, state and federal level about the lack of an oral health infrastructure.
Approximately 1,500 volunteers from dentistry, medicine and the community staff the clinic. Dental volunteers include dentists, oral surgeons, pediatric dentists, lab technicians, hygienists and dental assistants. Medical volunteers include physicians, nurses and pharmacists; community volunteers provide translation services, assist with patient and volunteer registration and escort patients to treatment areas. The services offered include cleanings, fillings, extractions, dentures and stayplates (temporary partial dentures).
The vast majority of people seeking care are the working poor, people who have lost their job, people without dental insurance, and those who cannot afford basic preventive services, nor cover the extensive dental work that many of them need. Most of the patients who seek care at such events have been in pain for months or even years.