While the measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have taken their toll on businesses across the board, nonprofit dental clinics have been much more extensively impacted. In addition to the steep costs of reopening, reductions to staff, and nearly impossible community outreach, many have seen an increase in emergency and costly urgent treatment for children who had to delay dental treatment until offices were allowed to reopen. But for members of the Dental Resource Program (DRP) of America’s ToothFairy, pandemic relief came in the form of product donations from 3M Oral Care.
Last year 27 DRP clinics serving children from low-income households and underserved communities received nearly $740,000 worth of donated product from 3M including Triple Layer Molded Face Masks to help replenish essential PPE supplies.
“Many of our program members stepped up to help at the beginning of the pandemic by donating the PPE they had on hand to their local hospitals,” America’s ToothFairy Executive Director, Jill Malmgren commented. “Months later they discovered that the extra PPE they needed to reopen safely was in short supply. We are so grateful for 3M who provided many essential supplies as soon as our members were allowed to reopen and continued to give through the end of the year.”
Costs to reopen as well as the time and resources needed to clean the clinic and operatories after every patient have been a staggering blow to nonprofit dental clinics. Traditional dental offices may simply pass those costs along to the patient, but this is not an option for clinics serving low-income patients who are either uninsured or count on state-funded programs to pay for care.
“We have been a proud supporter of America’s ToothFairy,” said Eric Wenzel, Director of 3M Oral Care in the United States and Canada. “In times of crisis, we believe it is our duty to step up and do all we can to ensure organizations that serve our nation’s most vulnerable populations—especially children—have what they need to fulfill their mission.”
Additional donated product included Paradigm™ DeepCure Curing Lights and Elipar™ DeepCure-S Curing Lights, hygiene products, crowns, adhesives and cements. The items were distributed to DRP members in 12 states, including Cass Community Health Foundation in Kansas City, MO. “Our Cass County Dental Clinic dentists were super excited about this donation,” said Cynthia Randazzo, the foundation’s President. “It is so helpful as we have spent so much unbudgeted funds on PPE as we reopened full-time to the children we serve.”
For more information about donating product to America's ToothFairy, please visit our Get Involved Page.