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Dentists Who Care is a private, non-profit charitable organization that was created in 1996 to help solve the problem of poor oral health among children in the Rio Grande Valley. Their mission is to improve and enhance the quality of life for low-income families who have no dental insurance through access to oral health care. To accomplish their goal, the organization directs the volunteer efforts of over 200 dentists and their dental assistants who donate their services on board a mobile dental unit. Basic treatments include a digital panoramic x-ray and a comprehensive oral exam by the dentists. If time permits, treatments such as cleanings, restorations, sealants, fluoride treatments or extractions are also performed. If the children need additional treatments, they are issued a voucher. As part of the Charity Dental Voucher Program, this allows for the children to receive comprehensive treatments from the comfort of the dentists’ offices at no cost to their families.
To date, the organization has provided over $7.5 million dollars in charitable care to over 25,000 children (and adults). Dentists Who Care has been recognized by locally elected leaders, municipalities and county commissioners as well as by former Governor George Bush. Recognition from their professional ranks has also been received including citations from the Texas Dental Association, the American Dental Association and the ADA Health Foundation.
Board of Directors
Miguel Castillo III, D.D.S.
Gary Schwarz, D.D.S., M.S.D.
Senaido Garza, D.D.S.
Nicholas Quach, D.D.S.
Adam Lalonde, D.D.S.
Krystle Garza, D.D.S.
James Foster, D.D.S.
Grayson Sellers, D.D.S.
Dentists Who Care Programs
Charity Dental Voucher Program
The Charity Dental Voucher Program has proven to be very successful and has been well received. Local dentists in the Rio Grande Valley contribute approximately three $200.00 vouchers per month. The vouchers are provided to the elementary school nurses and are given to children who are eligible. They qualify if the family is considered low income and the child has no insurance, Medicaid or CHIPS benefits. In addition, the nurse will contact the Dentists Who Care staff and arrange an appointment with one of the dentists who donate the cost of treatments if a child goes to the nurse complaining of pain that in turn affect the child’s health and well being.
Mobile Dental Unit
The Mobile Dental Unit, delivered in 1999, is built on a thirty-seven foot long RV chassis and has two complete dental delivery systems, digital panoramic radiography equipment, and a computer network. Upon entry into the MDU, each child has a panoramic x-ray taken which the dentist reviews by downloading it onto the monitor at his chair before he/she begins the comprehensive oral exam. If any problems are found and, time permitting, the child may receive treatment that day. This could include but is not limited to amalgams (fillings), sealants, and extractions. Children may also have their teeth cleaned. In addition to receiving treatment for their dental problems, each child receives an oral health care incentive packet (toothbrush, sample toothpaste and floss, and dental-related information). There are instances when the dental work a child needs is too involved for the dentist to do on the MDU. If this situation should arise, the dentist will issue a Charity Dental Voucher so that the child can receive the necessary treatment at his/her office free of charge.
20th Annual Charity Dental Conference
Our 20th Annual Charity Dental Conference, which was held at the South Padre Island Convention Centre on October 28-29, 2016, was a huge success! The Board and Staff of Dentists Who Care would like to thank all the attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers who participated this year in celebration of our 20th Anniversary!
With a total registration of 525 attendees, we had another record-breaking attendance in comparison to last year’s event. Dr. Rita Cammarata, TDA President, addressed the attendees during the VIP Luncheon with a welcome address and a congratulatory message for the outstanding accomplishments and efforts of Dentists Who Care. The fact that all the Conference proceeds go toward charitable dental care in the Rio Grande Valley is a success that Dentists Who Care can feel proud of. By banding together, Dentists Who Care can be an example to the rest of the country in how a group of focused providers can autonomously alleviate the oral health problems of a community.
We also had an awesome Silent Auction that featured an array of wonderful items that were available for bidding. Some of these items included fantastic experiences, adventure weekends, cool kid’s stuff, jewelry and weekends at beach properties. Many of our attendees took advantage of this great opportunity to get their Christmas shopping done early. Special thanks to all the individuals, businesses and sponsors who donated items for our Silent Auction this year!
17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament
We had a total of 20 teams (60 golfers) participate in our 3-man team event at the beautiful Tierra Santa Golf Club in Weslaco, Tx. on Friday, April 22, 2016! Thanks to all the businesses and individuals who showed their support by being a sponsor or by donating items for our event! Also, thanks to the UTRGV Pre-Dental Society Students as well as to family and friends who volunteered their time!
It has been my distinct pleasure to know and work with Dentists Who Care on two occasions as one of their speakers. With what they do for the indigent children of the Rio Grande Valley, they truly live up to my favorite quote: “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to them their own”. Besides taking care of these children dentally, they are teaching them to share the gift of giving when they responsible adults.
Linda L. Miles
CEO Linda Miles and Associates
It’s hard to imagine an organization in dentistry more rooted in its commitment to helping others. I’m personally proud of your contributions and recognize you as a model organization in our profession.
Dr. Steven L. Rasner