The Santa Barbara-Ventura Counties Dental Care Foundation began providing programs for the dentally underserved in both counties 15 years ago. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies on the donations of individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies to provide oral health educational, preventative and treatment services.
With the economic downturn, the number of people in need of dental care and without access in our community is on the rise.
More than 33 member dentists volunteered in 2011 to provide education, screening, preventative and restorative services to the underserved people in our communities.
In 2011 alone, over 26,600 individuals have participated in the oral health education programs. Dental disease has been called the “Silent Epidemic” and yet most dental disease is preventable. Over 21,600 individuals have been screened and received fluoride varnish treatments. Preventative services such as teeth cleaning and sealants were provided to 5,700 patients in need. 765 patients received restorative treatment in our Mobile Dental Clinic.
The Foundation has provided financial support to the Eastside Dental Clinic in Santa Barbara, the Simi Valley Free Dental Clinic, the Oxnard Dental Hygiene School, the Hancock Dental Assisting School in Santa Maria and the Health Linkages program in Santa Barbara. Scholarships have been awarded to several dental hygiene students. The Foundation was a leader in the Santa Barbara County Oral Health Summit in 2010 and is leading the development of an Oral Health Collaborative for Ventura County.