Bringing Smiles to the Homeless

In Riverside, CA, Reginald had a broken tooth that had been hurting him for months.  If you’re homeless and don’t have transportation, it’s pretty tough to get to a dentist.  But luckily for Reginald and 50 other people at Path of Life Ministries Community Shelter, the dentist came to them!

Smile Generation® volunteers and the Pacific Dental Services® Foundation Mobile Dental Clinic came to the rescue to serve 51 people and provide over $30,000 in free dental services right in the parking lot of the homeless shelter.

According to a 2010 National Institutes of Health report, 41 percent of homeless people surveyed said they lacked dental care. They face overwhelming obstacles in this specific area of health because they typically don’t have insurance, or the insurance they do have has severely limited services and providers. Homeless people are at a heightened risk for decay and tooth loss, among other dental issues.

Reginald was amazed by the technology offered at the mobile dental clinic.  After a Digital X-ray and examination by Dr. Jeffrey Kramer of Riverside Plaza Dentistry, he received a same-day CEREC® crown, which completely restored his tooth, relieved his discomfort and made him smile!

Dr. Kraemer and the team examining patients.

Dr. Fares helping with CEREC® Crown for Reginald.

Oscar Torres, RDA imaging Reginald’s CEREC® Crown.

Path of Life Ministries is a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving homeless individuals and families across Riverside County. They take a holistic approach to curing homelessness which includes community members, businesses, the faith community, and government. They provide a system of solutions including temporary shelter, permanent housing, child care, employment, and behavioral health programs. The mission is to enhance the social and economic vitality of the community by rescuing, restoring, and rebuilding the lives of homeless individuals and families. In 2015-2016, Path of Life Ministries served 1,369 individuals including families with children. We placed 193 households into permanent housing. For immediate housing or shelter information, call the Housing Hotline at 951-462-9822.

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