History of Dental Program:
WFC has provided dental services since 2004. During this time, Dr. Kolzet, DDS, a local retired endodontist, oversaw our dental program and created community partnerships to serve the dental treatment needs of our patients. Medical clinic patients who presented with dental needs received a full dental assessment. Dr. Kolzet created a partnership with one of his former dental students at a local dental office that allowed him to use their facilities and equipment, when they were closed, to provide dental treatment including root canals, and fillings. Sadly, Dr. Kolzet passed away in 2013. His passing has left a great hole in our program, but we have continued our efforts through assessments and referrals by local dentists volunteering at Westminster Free Clinic. The need for dental services was clearly evident last spring when more than 2,000 individuals lined up at dawn for CDA Cares Ventura to obtain free, volunteer-based dental services over the course of a weekend. CDA partnered with WFC to provide treatment to 187 of our pre-screened clients (pre-screened by 5 of our volunteer dentists). Westminster Free Clinic transported our 187 patients in 5 rented school buses to the event. One mother with abscesses received 3 root canals; another patient had 17 teeth pulled because he did not have access to care early enough. The dental services our patient families received were life changing for them.
In 2015, WFC created a partnership with the VC Public Health Department to offer free dental fluoride varnish treatments for children’s teeth at our clinic. Over 400 children have been served so far. WFC was selected by Americares to provide oral health education to 200 different low-income patients in a one-on-one oral format that included a dental homecare kit and a reference book in Spanish for each individual. WFC’s current dental program serves an average of 300 patients a year. We now anticipate serving at least 500 different people with dental services.
Where we are today:
Dr. Aaron Choroomi, DDS, whose private office is in Agoura Hills, has stepped up to be WFC’s new volunteer dental director. Eligible patients for our medical clinic who present with dental needs receive a full dental assessment by our volunteer dentists at our medical site. Our medical clinic dentists then assess which patients need a full cleaning and x-ray or possible treatment and refer them to WFC dental office at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Westlake for free services.
Foundations made it possible for WFC to purchase a state-of-the art portable dental x-ray machine called a NOMAD, a laptop and a Pro-Cart II self-contained portable dental cart. Dental electronic health records store each patient’s dental health record and digital x-rays. At the WFC dental office comprehensive oral exams and cleanings by volunteer dental hygienists and dentists are provided. Patients who present with more complex dental needs such as fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, dentures and implants will be referred to WFC’s specialty care referral network of local dental providers willing to provide free services.
What we need:
1) Funding for disposable dental supplies to serve patients
2) Volunteer dentists to provide free treatment at their offices (a few times a month)
3) Volunteer dentists and hygienists to provide cleanings and x-rays at our dental office