Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto, California was forced to stop accepting new patients in 2016 due to limited capacity and resources. Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, America's ToothFairy was able to provide several grants including one to increase access to comprehensive oral health care and education for special needs children. Care was provided to 225 pediatric patients with special needs, including 78 children who required general anethesia because of their special needs. Jessica Chiu, Ravenswood's Director of Development, Planning and Evaluation, shared the story of Arturo, a child with special needs who, like many children with disabilities, faced many obstacles in his search for oral health care services. Arturo’s mother, Cecilia, had taken him to multiple dental clinics, but no one was able to provide him with the appropriate dental treatment he needed.
“They didn’t have services or the patience for special needs children,” Cecilia says, “so they were never able to clean his teeth or take x-rays.” Due to the lack of oral health care Arturo received, he developed cavities. Arturo was taken to an urgent care dentist at Stanford Hospital because he was experiencing excruciating pain in his teeth. The Stanford dentist understood that Arturo had not received adequate oral health care, and recommended that Cecilia contact Ravenswood Family Dentistry’s Chief Dental Officer, Dr. Thakur, for specialized care.
During Arturo’s first visit to Ravenswood, Dr. Thakur evaluated the status of his oral health. Cecilia was impressed by Dr. Thakur’s patience with her son, and she was overjoyed when Arturo allowed Dr. Thakur to examine his mouth. “That was the first time Arturo let someone look at his teeth and do a bit of cleaning!” says Cecilia. She was also happy to see that Arturo was no longer in pain after his check-up. Since his first visit, Arturo has returned to Ravenswood Family Dentistry for routine cleanings and treatment for his cavities.
With help from our donors, more exceptional kids will be able to access essential dental care through our Special Kids Program.