Meet Michelle from Colorado

Meet Michelle Vacha, RDH, BS, founder and CEO of Senior Mobile Dental, an award-winning nonprofit headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO focused on the oral health care needs of the vulnerable elderly population. Senior Mobile Dental believes no elderly person should live their life in pain that is controllable. The oral-systemic relationship needs to be addressed.

Michelle believes that "if people still have their teeth at this stage of their life, it shows they have invested and maintained a high importance in their oral health. Why should their standards of care change once they lose their insurance, income, or physical health?"

The mission of Senior Mobile Dental is to increase access to care and improve the oral health of vulnerable elderly citizens by providing mobile oral health care. The two target senior populations are within nursing homes, and the poor elderly who cannot afford any type of dental care both in rural and metropolitan locations. Recent funding from the state of Colorado has allowed Senior Mobile Dental to provide full dental services.  This is essential for older adults’ oral health care because, as Michelle says, “unfortunately, we are finding such advanced disease and neglect, most seniors treated are in need of extractions and either partial or full dentures.”

This program was intentionally formed for replication.  Its innovative structure is identified as a prototype, lead, or template for other organizations and states to charter; Senior Mobile Dental’s “goal is to develop a program model to help seniors nationally get ahead of their current state of disease and neglect.”

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