Sonrisas Dental Health announced today that it is the recipient of a $250,000 grant from The California Wellness Foundation to contribute to core operating support to sustain and strengthen oral health care services for low-income adults and seniors served by the Half Moon Bay and San Mateo Sonrisas Dental Health Centers.

“The California Wellness Foundation has identified an impactful way to improve the health of the people of San Mateo County by recognizing the critical need for access to basic dental care for Denti-Cal and low-income residents and providing funding support to Sonrisas Dental Health to assist those most in need,” said Dr. Bonnie Jue, CEO and Dental Director of the non-profit Sonrisas Dental Health, Inc.

Dr. Jue noted several sobering facts, which underscore the need for Sonrisas’ efforts:

  • 32% of San Mateo County residents do not have dental insurance.
  • 62% lacking dental insurance are low-income.
  • Only 38% of Denti-Cal eligible adults access dental services due to the challenge of finding a provider that will serve them.

Medical studies have shown the close association between preventable oral infections and systemic health issues for all ages. For older adults, chronic oral disease is directly linked with systemic health problems, such as diabetes, and exacerbates existing health issues, such as heart and respiratory diseases. In addition, poor oral health and infections contribute to dental-related Emergency Room visits and hospitalizations.

“Low-income adults and seniors in San Mateo County have very few options for dental care because most dental providers are not serving people who have Medi-Cal coverage,” said Jeff Kim, Cal Wellness program director. “But they can count on Sonrisas, which serves anyone in San Mateo and the Coastside who needs dental care, including those who don’t have any dental insurance. We’re proud to support them.”

About Sonrisas Dental Health

Sonrisas Dental Health, a non-profit community dental center with facilities in Half Moon Bay and San Mateo, has served thousands of San Mateo County residents since launching in 2001. Sonrisas serves San Mateo County with the support of private insurance and donations from generous individuals, businesses, foundations and philanthropic groups.

The Sonrisas Mission

Sonrisas Dental Health, Inc. is a non-profit dental center dedicated to providing access to quality dental care and oral health education to our community. We provide these services with dignity, respect and compassion. Our name means smiles. For more information, visit Media, please contact Teresa Santos at 650.727.3507.

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