Francisco Fights Disease with Dental Care
“My name is Francisco Segura and I am 61 years old. I have been disabled since 2000, which is when I went into HIV treatment. Having dental care has impacted how I fight disease. I’m able to eat without restriction and I don’t have low self-esteem that comes with having a lot of missing teeth. When you’re my age, certain concerns become more prominent.”
Oral disease in children and adults is higher in low income communities, and two out of three people with Medi-Cal or HealthPAC coverage can’t visit a dentist due to lack of clinic capacity. People with oral health are more job-ready, have better overall health, and have greater self-esteem. Alameda Health Consortium (AHC) member clinics offer dental services, but some clinics are closed to new dental patients due to the shortage of dental stations available. At other sites, this capacity challenge has patients waiting months to get in to an appointment.
“If I didn’t have my health center I don’t know where I would go. My dental services are as vital to me as my medical care and part of the blood work I do. Dental care is a necessary part of life. If I couldn’t maintain my cleanings on my SSI, I would lose that tooth, I would lose that molar, and when it’s all gone, what do I do? I’m not talking about a cosmetic vanity thing, It’s a matter of what would I eat? It’s a matter of health.”
Alameda Health Consortium asks the community to step up and speak out to support efforts to build and expand dental services at its member clinics. Everyone deserves to see a dentist at least once a year. Typically dentists recommend coming in every six months for dental care, yet two-thirds of our patients can’t access this care even once a year. Help us promote timely, accessible dental care for AHC member patients.