We utilize 100 portable dental units and require over 1,500 volunteers to make this event occur. Our first two events changed the lives of so many people. 300 dentists, along with at least as many dental assistants and hundreds of dental hygienists along with about 600 lay Volunteers. Dental supply companies contributed supplies and materials which assisted us in treating 2,020 patients and provided $1.5 million in free dental care over the two day period. These events were the largest charitable dental clinics ever held in the State of Arizona.
The emphasis will again be on basic dental care such as fillings, extractions and cleanings. Limited lab work (i.e., stainless-steel crowns for children, treatment partials) will be offered. The program is unable to treat patients with specific medically-compromising conditions (e.g., extremely high blood pressure, severe disabilities).
Our CADS AZMOM event focuses on:
· Providing free access to dental care while placing a high priority on patients suffering from dental infections or pain;
· Raising public awareness of the increasing difficulty low-income adults and children face in accessing critical dental care; and
· Creating health care advocates via the hundreds of lay volunteers participating in the event
Arizona residents suffer from higher rates of dental disease and benefit less from proven preventative methods than other states. A recent survey revealed that 21% of Arizona adults and 31% of Arizona children have never had a dental check-up.
The good news is that most oral diseases are preventable. In Arizona, 5% of children ages 6 months through 2 years have had tooth decay. By the time children reach 11 to 13 years, over 65% have experienced tooth decay, and by the time adults reach age 45, more than 99% have had decay.
Additionally, Arizonans report one of their major barriers to receiving dental services relates to finances. While 24% of Arizonans lack medical insurance, over 44% of adults and 38% of children lack dental insurance.
In summary, more Arizonans have dental disease than found nationally, while many report difficulty accessing dental services. Efforts such as AZMOM, which has treated over 3,500 individuals (two years), are needed to improve the oral health for children and adults in this state.