TVHC Offers Drive-Thru Dental Visits to Pediatric Patients

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By: Drea Chavez
Communications & Marketing Specialist, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center

Dental Director, Dr. Sridevi Ponnala & Dental Assistant Supervisor, Violeta Salazar

In its ongoing efforts to provide much-needed care to its community during COVID-19, last month, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC) began providing drive-thru pediatric dental visits at its Silva Clinic in Hayward.

“We were able to do exams for children 0-5 years of age. All kiddos went home with a dental kit from our dental program, Healthy Teeth Healthy Communities,” said TVHC Dental Coordinator Becky Cordero. “Most of the kiddos were returning for their 6-month exam. It was a great feeling to be able to serve our pediatric patients again.”

Making sure patients get the care they need during the Alameda County shelter-in-place order has been extremely challenging. These challenging times have led TVHC, along with its fellow community health centers, to be innovative in their approach to providing accessible, high-quality care to some of the most vulnerable members of the community, children.

Dental problems rarely have symptoms, and it is only through regular check-ups and cleanings that dentists can spot problems before they become a serious health issue or costly to fix. When kids have healthy teeth, they can chew food easier, learn to speak clearer, and visiting with their dentist early helps them get into the practice of caring for their teeth, leading to better oral health in the long term.

TVHC has also been working with the Silva Clinic medical department to schedule a visits for children who have never had a dental check-up.

The feedback for the drive-thru dental visits have been overwhelmingly positive. When parents pull up for a visit, they are grateful and excited to have their children receive the care they need.

As the pandemic continues to challenge community health centers across the country, many adjustments and new ideas are needed in order to provide the care our community members need.

If you would like to reach out to TVHC about innovative ways to care for our community, please e-mail