We are proud to give San Diegans “A Reason to Smile,” through our restorative dental program.
Dental health affects our physical health, nutrition, self-esteem and our opportunities for employment and self-sufficiency. Through this unique program, extensive dental work, including partials/dentures, is provided to eligible participants.
Participants must have been homeless, sober and living in San Diego for a minimum of six months.
- Extensive Dental Work
Featured Patient: Carol
While a smile can express our joy and happiness, it can also mask pain and sorrow. No one knows this better than Carol, a native New Yorker and stay-at-home mom who has dealt with tragedy too difficult to fathom—the death of her children.
Following the death of her ex-husband from a fatal aneurysm, Carol discovered that all three of her children suffered from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type 4, a connective tissue disorder that affects the body’s vascular system and can lead to fatal aneurysms. More than 80 percent of those who suffer from the syndrome develop life-threatening complications by age 40. Carol’s oldest son succumbed to an abdominal aneurysm at the age of 21; her second oldest son died at the age of 30. Carol’s daughter, now in her mid-30s, continues to suffer from aneurysms.
Carol’s tragic losses took their toll on her, both emotionally and physically. She found herself homeless and briefly lived in a single-room occupancy dwelling before moving to a transitional living center in San Diego County in 2011. Poor dental hygiene combined with no access to dental care created problems for her teeth. Carol qualified for Family Health Centers of San Diego’s Restorative Dental Program, which provides extensive dental work, including cleanings, partials and dentures to a limited number of homeless individuals with no dental coverage. Her smile now gives her purpose and self-esteem, necessities for a woman who has dealt with so much tragedy.