In January of 1992, Dr. Chris Fabre announced the opening of the Jack Sansing Dental Clinic (JSDC) by making a call to action. At the time, the Dental Clinic, or the HIV Dental Project as it was then known, was being housed at a location donated by the City Health Department and only operated on Saturdays. Dr. Fabre called on volunteers to fill the many positions that would be needed for the Clinic to operate smoothly, including dentists, dental assistants, and secretaries. He also asked for equipment donations.
The Jack Sansing Dental Clinic had humble beginnings, but it sure has come a long way.
Back when it was first founded, the Clinic’s mission was simple: to provide quality and affordable dental care to people living with HIV. This mission remains strong as ever. In many ways the Clinic became a service warrior for people living with HIV, many of whom faced rejection, fear, and discrimination from local dentists. Dr. Fabre understood that for people living with HIV, proper dental care is extremely important. The weak immune system caused by HIV and AIDS, can lead to oral cancers, opportunistic infections, and other periodontal diseases. These illnesses can prevent HIV+ people from being able to ingest food properly, which can in turn further weaken their immune system. Improved oral health facilitates proper nutrition and leads to stronger overall health.
Today, the Jack Sansing Dental Clinic provides care to about 1,600 people annually from ten different counties. Services available include oral examination, treatment planning, oral surgery, root canal treatment, periodontal therapy, restorative dentistry, removable prosthodontics, treatment of infection, and preventative oral health care. The Clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 8-5PM, and Friday from 8AM to noon.
Most recently, the Clinic moved to a new location. Now housed at 711 W 38th St. Suite E-4, the move resulted in an increase in capacity of 22%. Those interested in receiving services at JSDC need to be seeing a regular doctor, but do not need to be in case management. The Clinic provides services to clients of all income levels.
In his 1992 announcement of the opening of the Jack Sansing Dental Clinic, Dr. Fabre mentioned that ASA’s hope was that the Clinic would eventually have a space to call its own and hire a paid dentist. Looking at it now, with its eight dental chairs, operating suite, many meeting rooms, and large reception area, it can be easy to forget all the hard work it took to get the Clinic started. The Clinic began as a labor of love for Dr. Fabre and the many volunteers who have dedicated their time there over the years. Today, the Clinic remains a place staffed with extremely dedicated people. From humble beginnings to a bright future, the Jack Sansing Dental Clinic stands strong.
We invite you to learn more about the JSDC on Friday, October 9th at our open house. Our ribbon cutting is at 11:00 am and the open house will last until 1:30 pm. To learn more, visit our event page.