Many Californians face serious obstacles in obtaining dental services. These individuals may have complex medical, physical or social conditions that make it difficult to get to a dentist's office. They may be institutionalized, economically disadvantaged or living in remote areas. Regardless of their circumstances, they are failing to get their needs met through the traditional dental care system. As a result, they have significantly worse oral health than those in other segments of the population.
The Pacific Center for Special Care at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (Pacific) is demonstrating a new model of care. By creating a "Virtual Dental Home" in sites throughout California, Pacific delivers oral health services in locations where people live, work, play, go to school and receive social services. The Pacific Center has partnered with a number of funding organizations to implement this system of care to bring much-needed oral health services to these underserved populations. These populations range from children in Head Start Centers and elementary schools to older or disabled adults in residential care settings or nursing homes.
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