Dientes was started in 1992 by a few local private dentists who wanted to provide care for the burgeoning HIV infected population who had no other place to go. Prior to consolidating our services in 2003 at the building on Commercial Way, Dientes had a five-chair clinic on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, a part-time clinic at Allianza School in Watsonville, and offered care one day per week at a private office in Ben Lomond. In our first full year at our current location, we provided approximately 9,000 dental visits. Partly due to a building expansion in 2007 and moving to electronic health records in 2008, we are now operating at full capacity providing 20,000 annual visits. In recent years we have initiated several new programs to further serve our community, including the Outreach and Dental Affinity Programs. We also substantially strengthened our children’s program, increasing its capacity and scope to serve twice as many children.
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