SonBridge Dental Clinic exists to serve the needs of the Walla Walla Valley community, especially those who are financially challenged. Adventist Health’s support is vital to the dental clinic’s mission 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 offering emotional support during procedures and during follow-ups.
When Chris first arrived at SonBridge Dental Clinic, he had just lost his job. He needed extensive dental work, but 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 quickly enthusiastically informed clinic staff that he had found a new job.
“The clinic has so much impact on people’s lives,” said Lorinda Shelden, director of the dental clinic. “It helped them become happier spouses, employees and parents and improved their personal health. Some patients even got married after having their teeth treated! Proper dental care ends the downward spiral of pain and poor self-perception. This begins a very positive spiral.
Adventist Health is the primary sponsor of SonBridge Dental Clinic and is an extension of Adventist Health’s ongoing commitment to the community. SonBridge Dental Clinic and Adventist Health have worked together on several projects in the past, including hosting health education programs and supporting health fairs. Norman Thiel, executive director of the SonBridge Center for Better Living, said he looks forward to continuing this partnership in the future.