As you enjoy the holiday season with your family, let me share a story with you.

California is one of the few states that provide Medicaid for dental services. However, there are few participating dentists in the program. This means the vast majority of the 2,200+ pediatric dental patients we see each year are on Medi-Cal or have no insurance. If patients are uninsured or cannot pay the full fee, an affordable, income-based option is available.

Together we can bring smiles to so many children this holiday season.

Two dental patients, a 6-year-old and a 17-year-old, from a family of 5, came to Camino Health Center for routine dental checkups. Their parents do all they can to provide for their children, yet this family struggles to meet basic needs. During their visit, it was found that both patients’ teeth were deteriorating, and multiple procedures were needed. The parents broke down in tears and mentioned how their teenage daughter was struggling at school, as she was embarrassed to ask questions because her classmates made fun of her teeth.

Great joy replaced devastation upon learning that their children would receive the affordable treatments based on Camino’s sliding fee scale. Over the next seven months, these girls had a combined 15 treatment visits. The patients completed their treatment plans and were grateful for their excellent care throughout the process. A few months later, we received a note that the eldest daughter was asked to a dance, participates in class, and has not stopped smiling.

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