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Porterville dentist; Tulare Dentist;
Free California Dental Screenings Network


Neilesh Patel
- Univision Interview - 12/2012
Neilesh Patel
- Starbucks Foundation Interview - 5/2009

What exactly is this?
Beginning January 1, 2007, California law (AB1433) requires that all children entering public school for the first time, at either kindergarten or first grade, receive an oral health assessment by a dental professional before May 31st of their first school year or within 12 months prior to entering public school. HealthCare Volunteer is responding by creating a California-based network that allows altruistic dental professionals, volunteer locations and needy children to be matched via our system in order to receive access to free dental screenings from volunteer dental professionals.

Click here for the screening form that parents must have completed in order to meet the new requirement.
More information on the new law can be found at: AB1433 Press Release | Dental Screening Forms | California Department of Education Oral Health Notice

Where is it?
Sweet Smiles Dental Center
365 Pearson Drive, Ste. 2
Porterville, CA 93257
Telephone: (559) 788-2532


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How do I sign-up?
Call 559-788-2532 and come to the dental office at 365 Pearson Drive Ste. 2 Porterville, CA 93257. Any needy person can sign up to have dental professionals provide them a free screening. In order to qualify for free treatment your annual income must be below the 2007 Federal Poverty Line.

Step 1: Check your eligibility with the U.S. Federal Register Poverty Line. You must have annual income in the preceding year below the federal poverty guideline.
Step 2: Sign up for a free patient account online.
Step 3: We will match you as quickly as possible with a dentist in your local area who has volunteered to provide your child with a free dental screening. We will contact you via email with the contact information of the dentist. You will need to call the dental office and schedule your appointment with the dentist during its office hours. We will mail the dentist a packet of dental supplies and forms to use during the dental screening.
Step 4: Bring a copy of your previous year tax-return to the dental appointment in order to prove that you had income below the federal poverty line. If you did not file a tax-return last year, please bring a signed document that states simply that you did not file a tax return.
Find Out More | Patients Sign Up Now | Case Workers/Public Health Officials Sign Up Now | Dental Volunteers Sign Up Now

Signup

Dentists
First if you are a dental professional, Sign up for a volunteering account and once you login you can register to become part of the California Dental Screenings Network. We allow you to specify your specific interests in providing assistance, and location of needy children you wish to serve. We will provide your contact information to your local government, dental society, homeless shelters, after-school programs, school districts once we have matched you to needy children. In your profile, you should mention how much prior volunteer experience you have, your motivation to volunteer and how much time you wish to commit to providing free dental screenings. In your profile, you should provide the address of the dental facility you will use to provide free dental screenings. Based off of your zip code, we will help rapidly connect needy children in your community to you up to your limit of dental screenings to be provided. All these services will be free of charge to your local government and non-profit organizations and we will never sell your contact information to anyone.

Case Workers
Dental case workers, dental assistants, school nurses, principals, teachers, non-clinical personnel, receptionists, public health officials, family, representatives, friends and even volunteers can sign up and act as the representative for patients who do not speak English or do not have Internet access. By signing patients up, you must agree to inform the patient as soon as the match to their volunteer health provider has been made, and you must help them coordinate their appointment with the health provider. Once we have matched the patient, you will be contacted via email regarding the patient and the dental volunteer's contact info, and you must convey this information offline to the patient so that he/she can receive his/her pro bono care.

Patients/Parents
If you wish to register your child for free dental screenings, please register your child on our web site for a Patient account. In order to qualify, the student's family income must be below the 2007 federal poverty level. Prior to arriving at your assigned dental office, you must submit the previous tax years tax return or statement that shows you did not have to file a tax return to us in order to qualify. This information can be sent to HealthCare Volunteer, 6825 Cielo Vista Dr, PMB# 29, El Paso, TX 79925 as soon as you register on our web site. Once, we verify your credentials, we will issue you a letter via email, which you can print and take with you to receive your dental screening, which will verify to the volunteer dentist that you meet the financial restrictions. Otherwise, you may bring your tax-return copy with you at the time you are scheduled to receive a free dental screening by the voluntary dental professional. The dentist will verify that you do meet the federal poverty guidelines in accordance with the U.S. Federal Register. | Dental Screening Forms | California Department of Education Oral Health Notice


Are there dentists signed up to provide free dental screenings in my area?

Yes, there are dentists signed up all around the state. Already thousands of free screenings have been pledged, and we are now waiting for patients to sign up and take advantage of the pledged screenings. Dentists will do free screenings in their office. The idea is to get parents and their children into the office instead of providing dental screenings in school multipurpose rooms and soccer fields, as was the case in the past. This minimizes issues with follow up care and the oral health access to care. Follow-up care (treatment) must always happen in a dental office, so we believe that screenings should start in the office as well.

Are there any funds to provide treatment? Or is this a screening only?

Although currently, our volunteers are only required to provide free dental screenings, certain doctors may opt at their discretion solely to provide free treatment if they wish to do so. Do not ask your doctor if they will provide the treatment for free; if a doctor wishes to provide the treatment for free she/he will offer to do so. Currently, providing treatment is not a requirement in our program and at this stage our program only funds the screenings and associated dental supplies for a screening. If successful, in the future our fundraising will then extend to procuring dental supplies that will enable doctors to provide free treatments as well.

I am a patient in need of more than just dental screening care. Where can I go for less expensive dental care?

California - Los Angeles Vicinity Dental Care (low cost / free) (6.6 meg / PDF)

How do I sign up my dental practice as a free California Dental Screenings Network provider?

Our system helps to equalize the volunteers that provide free dental screenings to California's needy children from the comfort of your own dental office. Patient's that have been assigned to you, will call your office to schedule their appointment. Once we find a patient that is located in your community, we will email them with your dental office's contact telephone number and also email your office with the patient's contact information. It will be up to both the patient and the dentist to schedule a dental screening. To sign up as a free dental screenings center as a HealthCare Volunteer California Dental Screenings location, please create a free Volunteer account After signing up, please update your "Profile" and input your dental practice address, where you will be providing the free dental screenings. Next, under "Profile", enter the number of patients you pledge to volunteer screenings to and the type of screenings you will provide: either Basic of Comprehensive.

Basic screenings include: Visual screening for caries levels and urgency rating on the need for comprehensive dental care.
Comprehensive screenings include: A regular new-patient exam, including x-rays, intraoral, extraoral and child dental exam.

For each patient assigned to you, you will receive the following via mail to the address in your volunteer profile:

1) Basic screening: Oral Health Assessment form in English, disposable mirror, gauze.
2) Comprehensive screening: Oral Health Assessment form in English, x-rays (4 films), disposable mirror, gauze, and metal dental explorer (one-time as supplies last).



Who is funding this program?

The program officially launched May 2, 2008 at the CDA Convention in Anaheim, CA. It will be run throughout California through 2008 and is funded by various corporate sponsors and the CDA Foundation.


Patients Sign Up | Dentists Sign Up | Case Workers Sign Up



Neilesh Patel
- CNN Interview - 8/2007
Neilesh Patel
- KTLA Interview - 5/2008
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