In Central Florida’s service driven economy, poor oral health and missing teeth can prove to be a barrier to regular employment. As our homeless clients may already face many hurdles to overcome, the Health Care Center for the Homeless (HCCH) seeks to help address this particular issue through our Denture Sponsorship Program. This program is focused on helping to supply full or partial dentures for our homeless patients at our facility, the Orange Blossom Family Health Center, who have no other means of affording them. To qualify for this program a dental patient must be homeless; complete all other aspects of their oral health regimen as set forth by their dentist; be evaluated by the staff as needing a full or partial denture; have a history of keeping their scheduled appointments; and be missing one or more anterior teeth in an arch. Some of the steps involved in creating the dentures are performed by dental staff here within the Health Center, aided in this task by our volunteer dentist, Sister Jessica.With HCCH absorbing the cost of treating the patients and the manufacturing steps conducted within the Health Center, each full or partial denture arch costs only $125 from any funding for this program. Supported entirely by private donations, initial support was received in 2008 from Project Dentists Care, a division of the Florida Dental Association. Subsequent funding has been provided by local oral health professionals, a local church, and individual donors. Any donations made to the denture sponsorship are used to provide services only within this specific program for the patients who qualify. Funding for this program is extremely limited. For those who have never experienced obvious tooth loss, it is hard to understand someone’s reluctance to smile or feeling the need to cover their mouth to hide missing teeth. Or the realization you weren’t hired for a job because you lacked a healthy smile. A beautiful smile should be available to those without health insurance and dentures are often the final step to having just that.If you would like to sponsor dentures for one of our homeless patients, you can make a donation by clicking on the "Donate" button above. Select "Denture Sponsorship" in the Program Designation drop-down menu. If you would prefer to make a gift by check, please mail your check to the Health Care Center for the Homeless and notate denture program in the memo section.