The SonBridge Dental Clinic exists to meet the needs of the Walla Walla Valley community, particularly those struggling financially. Support from Adventist Health is vital to the mission of the dental clinic as it serves patients with dignity and compassion.
Some patients have not been able to receive dental care for several decades, so the clinic strives to create a safe place for those who are intimidated by providing emotional support during procedures and during follow-ups.
When Chris first came to the SonBridge Dental Clinic, he had just lost his job. He needed extensive dental care, but he struggled to overcome his fear and embarrassment. The dental team calmed his nerves, held his hand during the procedure and supported him as his teeth were pulled. Chris was fitted with dentures and soon excitedly informed the clinic staff that he had gotten a new job.
“The clinic impacts the lives of the people so much,” said Lorinda Shelden, dental clinic manager. “It has helped them become happier spouses, employees and parents, and has improved their personal health. Some patients have even gotten married after getting their teeth fixed! Proper dental care ends the downward spiral of pain and poor self-perception. It starts a very positive spiral.”
Adventist Health is the key sponsor of the SonBridge Dental Clinic, and is an extension of Adventist Health’s continuing commitment to the community. SonBridge Dental Clinic and Adventist Health have worked together on several projects in the past, including hosting health training programs and supporting health fairs. Norman Thiel, executive director of SonBridge Center for Better Living, shared that he is looking forward to continuing this partnership in the future.