San Diego, California
Poor oral health is a growing public health crisis for vulnerable seniors in the United States.
â€¢ Financial realities force 41% of American seniors to choose between rent and nutrition each day. In such a scenario, dental care is rarely prioritized
â€¢ And with 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, and 70% of them having no dental insurance, this problem is rapidly turning into a crisis
To address this critical need, the Senior Dental Cetner was established in 2016, a one-of-a-kind, nonprofit community dental clinic embedded within a bustling senior wellness center that provides daily meals and supportive services for hundreds of low-income seniors in downtown San Diego. This innovative, integrated care model is stabilizing and restoring the oral health of a neglected population while helping to advance research, policy, and advocacy efforts to identify solutions to increase access to oral healthcare.
ANNIE'S RESTORED ORAL HEALTH REVIVES HER CONFIDENCE
Check out the photos above to see Annie's before and after!
Annie, 65, lived eight years with an ill-fitting flipper and periodontal disease. Although she was working full-time as a receptionist in an optometry office, she lacked dental insurance and could not afford care.
During a domestic violence dispute five years ago, she was hit in the face with a 2-liter soda bottle and lost her front teeth. Without access to dental care, she was forced to treat dental pain rather than receive treatment. Additionally, the state of Annie's oral health negatively impacted her work in customer service. Embarrassed to smile, she would talk to people with her hand over her mouth.
Annie was elated to find the Senior Dental Center, her new dental home where she could afford the care she desperately needed. On her first visit, Annie told her dentist through tears, "I can't do my job. I can't speak to people." Although Annie's case was complex, she was determined to speak clearer and smile again. She now has a restored smile, beautiful and bright.
Annie has regained the confidence to communicate with the public. She is eager to share her story with others and advocate on behalf of the many vulnerable seniors in similar situations.
Your donation will help seniors, like Annie, secure the dental care they need to eat better, speak clearer and smile again.
The Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center's mission is to provide affordable, high-quality oral healthcare with comprehensive education, clinical, and wellness services for seniors in need, enabling them to live healthy and productive lives.