Dentists in Tucson Prepare to Treat the Underserved
October 6, 2014
Southern Arizona Dental Society member dentists are planning to treat more than 500 people this month at the 22nd annual HopeFest, a city-wide event in Tucson that provides underserved citizens with a variety of services, including medical and dental care, food, clothing and haircuts.
The project is a collaborative effort that includes participation from faith-based, community, governmental and social service groups, as well as local businesses. HopeFest volunteers performed services valued at more than $1.5 million at the Kino Stadium last year. About 20,000 people attended the event.
This year’s event will take place Oct. 25.
“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year,” said Dr. Dean Hauseman, who heads the dental component of HopeFest. “It initially started in the gymnasium of a high school, but because the need has grown, we now hold it in a baseball park every year.”
Dentists screen patients for two days and refer them to a number of nearby dental offices for treatment on Oct. 25. Hygiene services are provided at the main HopeFest location. Dr. Hauseman’s office, Southern Arizona Endodontics, is opened up on the day of the event for volunteer community dentists to perform restorative care, extractions, and other services. After the event, participating dentists will complete treatment plans out of their own facilities.
“This will be our third year of doctors treating HopeFest patients in their own offices,” said Dr. Hauseman. “This avenue of volunteering is gaining great popularity from dental teams because the treatment is done in familiar surroundings.”
HopeFest participating dentists also provide full and partial dentures, said Dr. Hauseman. Local labs also offer services at greatly reduced fees.
“This service is by far the greatest attraction to many patients and will be limited by the number of doctors volunteering their services and the dollar donations earmarked for lab services,” he said.
For more information about the program, visit HopeFest online.