Since 1992, Dientes Community Dental Care has provided a critical health care safety net, ensuring that everyone, regardless of circumstance, has access to dental care. The nonprofit organization is one of the few dental only federally qualified health centers in the U.S. that offers the full range of dental services, including licensed pediatric specialists. Their facility in Santa Cruz serves all low-income, no-income, uninsured and publically insured residents.
Dientes primary patient population includes diverse families as well as elderly, HIV positive, disabled, and homeless children and adults. Annually, they care for more than 7,000 adults and kids, 96 percent of whom live in poverty, and since 2004, have provided specialty care to 8,600 children ages five and younger. Since 2002, more than $61 million in treatment has been provided.
Second Harvest partners with Dientes on oral health care outreach to the families we serve through the Food For Children program. Dientes’ outreach staff trained our Nutrition Programs team to offer oral health care information and provides tooth brushes, tooth paste, and floss for distribution to the children of the families we serve.
At the celebration of their twentieth anniversary on October 18th at the Chaminade Resort in Santa Cruz, Dientes announced plans to add a new pediatric wing with the $1.5M grant they received from the federal Community Development Block Grant Program.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone at Dientes for all the great work you do in our community.