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San Diego Dental Professionals Offer Free Preventive Care For Children

It’s recommended that children start visiting a dentist at one year of age, but a statewide survey reveals 17 percent of California kindergartners have never seen a dentist.

More than 100 dental professionals in San Diego hope to make a dent in that problem on Saturday, when they offer free care to children at six community health clinics.

During Saturday’s event, volunteers will provide free dental exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments. The public can call (619) 692-8858 for appointments.


Pediatric dentist Parvathi Pokala said they’re just aren’t enough dentists in San Diego who treat kids.

“We definitely need more to help ease the burden of dental disease on these young patients. Access to care is a huge issue," Pokala said.

A state audit in 2014 revealed less than half of the children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program saw a dentist the previous year. The audit said the program’s reimbursement rates are much lower than the national average.