On Saturday Nov. 10th, 2012 SFEF volunteers and providers joined forces with Mariners Church, Christian Arabic Church and Lestontaic offering free dental work. The 13+ dentist (6 from SBI) saw about 120 patients starting at 9am-4pm. Note: Some patient’s waited in line as early as 6am.

Dental pre-screening took place by our company’s (Anaheim) lead DDS, Dr. Jose Cardenas. The screenings were completed by asking each individual the main problem (i.e. pain or sensitivity) followed by a visual exam. Each patient had a chart and wore wrist bands to identify there number (place in line) and the treatment recommended. Prior to being seen by the dentist, x-rays were taken and placed in the individual chart, if extractions were to be preformed.

I had a limited time frame where I was able to meet the patients waiting in line for a visual exam and also those who were waiting to be seen for dental treatment. During that time, I first encountered a mother and daughter who stood out to me almost immediately. The daughter (Diana Sanchez) looked very nervous and ill as she stood behind her mother. I approached the daughter who seemed to be fearful of speaking. Her mother (Bertha) explained that she heard about the event today through a yellow flyer she received. Bertha had never been to a dental clinic and was last treated by a dentist 15 years ago in Mexico. Per Bertha, Diana is ill and has not seen a dentist for over 4 years. Her daughter was having severe pain on her upper and lower molar teeth and Bertha’s filling fell out which has been causing her some pain. I followed both Bertha and her daughter Diana, from start to finish. The mother was treated by our company’s DDS (Dr. Flores) and the daughter had her 4 teeth extracted by a volunteer provider Dr. Metias. After completion of treatment, both Diana and Bertha were very thankful and happy that the doctors were able to care for them. She stated, “This was very good, everyone here was very good.” When asked if she will do anything different now that she received care, her response, “Yes, I will. I really liked my work and the doctor.”

I also met a couple ( Stuart & Emelia) who came together for dental treatment. This was there first time at a clinic. They had heard about the event through a flyer while their son was under care at Western Medical. Both the husband and wife talked to me about their son suffering two life threatening events- heart attack, and then a stroke. After the son’s recent stroke both parents where shaken by the horror they had to relive and decided to get medical care for themselves. It was then that Emelia found out she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She stated that she was in stage 2A and was undergoing chemotherapy treatment next month. Because of needing clearance prior to starting her chemo treatment, Emelia decided she and her husband needed to see a dentist. They both have not seen a dentist for possibly 2 or more years due to financial hardship. The couple moved from Brooklyn, NY to CA shortly after Emelia was laid off. She worked as a social worker and was looking into to becoming a psychologist. Emelia was a very vibrant character and was very hopeful that her battle with breast cancer will work out the way God planned it to be. Though the dentists at the clinic were not able to fully treat Emelia, she needed a root canal, we gave her all the information she needed to receive care elsewhere. On the other hand, Dr. Flores was able to take Stuart out of pain by extracting his upper molar and cleaning out his decay and placing in a resin filling. Stuart was extremely nervous about receiving treatment, having a fear for the dentist, but did well with the dentists and was very grateful to have his pain taken away.