Sonrisas Finds and Helps a Child in Pain

In 2019, Gabriela* and her family moved to San Mateo County in California from Honduras. Soon after her arrival, Sonrisas visited her elementary school to provide oral health screenings to students who have limited access to dental providers.

The School Screening team quickly discovered the six-year-old’s severe pain, abscesses on her lower molar, and tooth decay throughout her mouth—all factors that negatively affected her attention in school and self-confidence. Gabriela was promptly referred to Sonrisas’ San Mateo Dental Center and her parents brought her to Sonrisas after learning that their financial situation was not a barrier to their daughter’s care, comfort, and health.

Over the course of five visits, the dental team extracted broken down and decayed teeth to decrease the risk of infection spreading to other parts of her mouth, repaired cavities, and stabilized her pain. Not only did Gabriela receive restorative dental care and treatments through Sonrisas’ Access to Care program, the dental team provided her and her family with oral health education and preventive dental health habits. When we learned that Gabriela’s family did not have health insurance, we helped them sign up for Medi-Cal Dental, which they did not know that they qualified for before coming into Sonrisas.

Because of donors like you, who support our School Screening Program and Access to Care Program, Gabriela’s* oral health concern was identified, and her needs were addressed in a timely manner and with compassionate care. Her care treatment plan would have cost her family over $4000, but now Gabriela is able to access oral health care that would have otherwise been inaccessible.

The greatest success in treating Gabriela, though, was assisting her in becoming pain free so that she can eat properly, smile without shame, and have access to the pursuit of success!

*The patient’s name has been altered to protect her identity.