Charlottesville Area Dental Access, Inc.’s (CADA) was founded to provide access to ALL persons who could not afford to go to a dentist except in an emergency.
Founders Judy Smith, long time director of the local CHIP program, Dr. William Viglione, a philanthropic long time resident of Charlottesville and private practice dentist, and Dr. Peyton Weary, retired chairman of University of Virginia Department of Dermatology understood the critical need and the benefit of quality dental care for indigent children and adults; especially children. This group was joined by Dr. Bill Hunt and Robert Tobey, CPA, in a three year effort to find the resources to open a care center. With grit, determination and tenacity the vision became reality in February 2005 when CADA was granted 501 (c) (3) status as a tax exempt organization, doing business as The Community Children’s Dental Center. The doors opened in August, 2005 with one dentist and two staff, limiting practice to children covered by Medicaid insurance age 1 to 20.
One board member provided a major line of credit that allowed the Dental Center to open its doors; others provided the business acumen to keep the doors open. The Virginia Health Care Foundation provided a three year grant to fund wages for a full-time dentist. Board members worked diligently to secure additional funding from individuals and private foundations. Board members worked together to find donated equipment and discounted supplies from vendors. The Community Children’s Dental Center had a humble beginning.
In October 2011 the board of directors approved a DBA name change to Community Dental Center, reflecting the organization’s goal of treating adults starting June 2012. Today, the CDC cares for indigent uninsured adults and children in addition to children covered by Medicaid. As of June 2012 the CDC has treated more than 14,000 children while continuing to expand treatment to adults.
The mission is to ensure low income children receive quality dental care. Ongoing instruction on proper dental hygiene continues to benefit thousands of families in Central Virginia. Children and their families are counseled on diet and nutrition, life style choices that affect dental health, and are encouraged to complete a tooth brushing log. We have a fun and successful “No Cavities Club” with more than 800 members. Each child who comes for three visits with no cavities is automatically a member of our “No Cavities Club” and is awarded a movie ticket. This has proved to be a fantastic motivator!
The return for on investment for donors is substantial. Pediatric dental health is essential to overall wellness; dental care prevents serious chronic heart disease, diabetes, abscess leading to septic infection, and other terrible disease. Treating the average patient costs about $350 to clean and restore their teeth; a minor investment which prevents emergency room visits and other costly illness.