Tzu Chi Mobile Vans Bring Dental Care to Residents in Remote Communities

Southern California Mobile Clinic  |  January 22, 2019

Many underprivileged people are able to receive much-needed medical, vision and dental care due to Tzu Chi’s free clinics and medical volunteers who give of their time to help. They provide a wide variety of services that many people would otherwise go without, which could lead to other medical issues, and that includes important dental care and services.

But what about those people who live so remotely that they are unable to get to the clinics? Thank goodness for Tzu Chi’s fleet of Mobile Vans, which essentially are free clinics on wheels that come to the communities they serve.

The Da Ai dental vehicle began back in 2000 as a means to bring the services to remote places where there previously were none. It started as a portable unit and eventually became a mobile dental clinic. As the years went by, the original portable unit was durable although not very mobile.

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The mobile medical equipment features portable dentistry chairs and the vans are always evolving to meet the needs of patients. It is a far cry from some of the makeshift equipment previously used.

We used to use a beach chair as the dentist and patient chair. Now, we have a fully functioning clinic that's able to go to remote areas.

Steven Voon, Tzu Chi Mobile Clinic Executive Director

Over time and as things continued to progress, everything has and continues to improve, especially with regard to standards and sanitation, which is very important when providing dental care or any type of medical care.

“We used portable chairs to provide free clinics because the environment is dirty and filled with flies. As a result, we improved sanitation and expanded its functionality, allowing us to perform wisdom teeth removals. In the mobile free clinic vehicle, we also have digital x-ray machines.

Dr. Peter Chen, Tzu Chi Dental Mobile Volunteer

By ensuring high standards and a sanitary mobile clinic, the doctors can practice in safety and ensure their patients are safe from infections as well. It ensures they will feel good about what they are doing and that they will want to return to help the patients.

With the utmost care, the volunteer dentists provide simple teeth cleanings and fillings on the portable outdoor seats while more in-depth procedures are done in the indoor aseptic room.

The Mobile Clinic has been serving remote California areas since 2002 and continues to help patients who need the services most.

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Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation
1008 S. Garfield Ave., Alhambra, CA 91801
Tel +1 (626) 427-9598
Fax +1 (626) 281-5303

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Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a GuideStar Platinum Participant.

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