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Community Spotlight: BAWCC Dental Clinic Program

Kelly Salance

Today, we are spotlighting the Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center Dental Clinic Program for the impact they are having on the Tenderloin community. The Dental Clinic operates out of the lower level of the Tenderloin Community School and provides dental services to their students. This is an essential service because many of these students have never seen a dentist before and have serious oral issues at a young age.

The Tenderloin Community School also offers a child development center, a rooftop vegetable garden and other on-site programming, creating a unique community center. Offering these types of services— including dental—on-site helps overcome many of the traditional barriers to service. Not only are many low-income families not able to provide their children with the dental care they need due to economic barriers, but also many cannot take time of work to take their children to dentists.  Under the supervision of Dr. Wright, children are seen during school hours and receive regular check-ups, teeth cleaning, x-rays, filings, and more advanced work when needed. After their dental work is complete, they can head right back upstairs to their classes.

Even more impressive, the Clinic was able to screen all 400 students at the school for the first time this last school year.  They were able to complete 952 dental procedures and work on up to 16 students each day! They have also expanded the Clinic’s outreach to include preschoolers, increasing the amount of preventative dental care services provided to the children.  The dentist also work with the parents on good oral hygiene education as well as keeping them informed about their children’s dental appointments. All of this allows for a better understand the importance of good oral health.

As the Dental Clinic continues its great work, we are excited to see their continued success as they help their students one tooth at a time!