The California Dental Association (CDA) is a local foundation that focuses on dental health. The foundation started approximately 9 years ago in Sacramento. The foundation hosts biannual dental expos (CDA Cares) throughout California. The expos are held in Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, and Stockton. The expos occur twice a year; one in the spring and one in the fall.
The expo is a two day event which occurs on a Friday and a Saturday from approximately 5:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. CDA Cares provide free dental services to individuals at no charge. There is an estimated 2000 or more individuals that attend the event each day. Approximately 1500 volunteers donate their time and skills to support the event. The expos have a process the attendees must follow to receive the free service. Each attendee receives education on dental health prior to being triaged to determine what type of services is needed.
The expo has over 20 different sections inside the operational area. The denture section and the cleaning area were extremely busy throughout the expo. The denture section provided dentures for the attendees that did not have any teeth. The denatures were made at the expo. Another section that had a high volume was the one for fillings. There were approximately 100 people in that area; either receiving service or waiting to received service.
The foundation is able to offer these service mainly through fundraising. The success of the expo is contributed to the dentists that donate their time and skills to support this mission. This year, the foundation raised approximately $170,000. The fascinating thing about the expo is that all the services rendered are free to the attendees. The goal is to educate the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral hygiene.