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Movement to Help the Underserved Access Dental Care During COVID-19

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, more people than ever are without health and dental insurance in California. To address urgent dental health concerns, they have to rely on free and low-cost clinics, which provide care to our most vulnerable populations. While the demand for their services has drastically increased during the ongoing pandemic, cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) for providers has skyrocketed, leaving many free and low-cost clinics unable to treat patients, and even facing the risk of closure.

To help free clinics combat the shortage of funds and supplies, the Dr Kevin M Kenny Foundation and ASDA District 11 are organizing eight free webinars for dental professionals over the course of three months, starting in November. The courses provide CE credits. Topics are chosen to prepare dental professionals for a successful career in dentistry and practice ownership. Dental manufacturers can sponsor the courses. All donations raised from sponsors will support free clinics across California in purchasing the PPE needed to continue providing services to those in need.

"Previously we were able to obtain donations of PPE at conventions, but this year, conventions are virtual, making it difficult to solicit donations. Having sufficient PPE available is necessary to ensure that our clinics remain open, and our volunteers are able to continue to provide care at no cost."- according to a statement of the UCSD Student-Run Free Dental Clinics.

Free dental clinics serve those who otherwise would not have access to dental care. “My teeth are in poor condition. I have a big beautiful smile, but it was affected. I wasn’t getting help from anywhere. I didn’t have the resources nor the money,” says Suezy, a patient at Homeless Not Toothless. For the past year, Suezy suffered from dental pain because she couldn’t find a dentist that would take her Medi-Cal insurance. Only a free clinic was willing to help her. If free clinics cannot get PPE, many people like Suezy will be left without care.

During a time of crisis, the dental community can make a difference by coming together to help those affected by COVID-19. To learn more, please visit:

If you are interested in sponsoring the events or would like more information, please contact Dr. Kevin Kenny at

Dr Kevin M Kenny Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides continuing education courses to dentists. All the funds that the organization raises goes towards providing medical and dental care to underserved populations and supporting humanitarian mission trips. In the past four years, the nonprofit has donated more than $135,000.


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