In 2001, the CDA Foundation started with a single employee and a sole purpose – to make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of underserved Californians.
A decade later, that seed has grown to become one that has transformed nearly 500,000 lives across the state. Through various grants, we have funded local projects in each of the state’s 32 dental societies from Humboldt County to San Diego.
The Student Loan Repayment Grant program, which began in 2002, has placed 12 dentists into clinics where they have provided oral health services to more than 45,000 patients valued at nearly $13 million in care to communities where individuals would otherwise go without.
In 2003, when the Foundation partnered with the UCSF School of Dentistry and published evidence that caries could be prevented and managed through risk assessment, it created a paradigm shift in dental practice.
In 2004, we collaborated with the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry and created the Pediatric Oral Health Access Program® to increase access for underserved children. Nearly 400 dentists have been trained throughout the state providing $35 million in care to more than 100,000 children.
We have championed community water fluoridation resulting in 21.5 million residents (62.5 percent of the state’s population) receiving the benefits of fluoride, compared to only 17 percent in the late 1990s.
To assist health care professionals in providing safe, appropriate dental treatment to pregnant women, we created the Perinatal Oral Health Program. The resulting guidelines and patient education materials are used to engage in conversations about the importance and safety of dental care during pregnancy.
Recognizing that more than 95 percent of Americans over 65 in long-term care facilities have unmet oral health needs, we developed the Senior Oral Health Training Project, which utilizes a curriculum developed by the Pacific Center for Special Care to assist those caring for dependent adults.
But even with these impressive achievements, millions of Californians still experience barriers to care. With your support, the CDA Foundation will continue to build on this momentum and create lasting change for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.