We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Geiselhofer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
We provide Colorado’s underserved and vulnerable communities with preventative dental care inside homeless shelters for men, women, children, runaway youth, and veterans utilizing pop-up clinics. It is a life changing visit for most of our patients. They think their teeth are hopeless because they have not received care in many years. Our visits are up to two hours long and typically include anesthetic throughout the entire mouth. We provide dental cleanings, deep cleanings, digital x-rays, oral cancer screenings, sealants for children and Silver Diamine Fluoride cavity inhibitor. Access to care is the most important thing for our patients. We reduce barriers such as transportation, accessibility, and lack of money that prevent individuals experiencing homelessness from accessing preventative dental care. Our visits educate, improve overall health, and build self-confidence.
We help hundreds of children that have never seen a dentist or hygienist because the parent has barriers that prohibit them from taking the child to an office. Some of these families are living in their car or on the street before getting accepted into a family shelter. It is impossible without running water and a toothbrush to care for their mouths properly. In this situation we bring our service inside family shelters on evenings and weekends so parents will not stress about missing work to attend a child’s dental check up. After our preventative dental visit, we find the patient a dental home. We partner with 14 dentists, oral surgeons, pediatric dentists, ENT’s and a Head and Neck surgeon that welcome our patients for follow up care.
The care that touches my heart the most are home visits for Hospice. We receive several requests from care givers and family members whose loved one requested one last bedside dental cleaning. In the beginning, I had to excuse myself to the porch for some deep breaths and a few tears before starting the appointment. I couldn’t believe that my service was something a person would want in their last weeks of life. I now realize how many people want to go to heaven with clean teeth.
What should our readers know about your business? Working in the shelters for over five years, I noticed many individuals were not receiving our care because they didn’t have state assistance. I established a 501©(3) non-profit organization in July 2019 called Deserving Dental Org that works side by side with Dental At Your Door. Deserving Dental closes the state assistance gap so that patients experiencing homelessness or living below the poverty level can receive our care through donations and grants. I am most proud of the altruistic nature of my staff and how we treat every patient with respect, dignity, and quality care. Our visits are not just teeth cleanings. We recognize signs of oral cancer, high blood pressure and other health conditions that present themselves in the mouth. We treat patients on waiting lists for hip replacements that cannot be done until the patient’s mouth is cleaned properly per orders from their orthopedic surgeon. Our hygiene sessions and referrals to our partner dentists give our patients their smile and confidence to seek employment and better housing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite mountain towns in Colorado is Manitou Springs. I love the charming main street, mineral springs, famous Incline, and the fun outdoor Penny Arcade with vintage games.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shout out to my high school friend Malisa for introducing me to my first dental assisting job at age 16. This was when I realized I wanted to become a Registered Dental Hygienist for the rest of my life. I am grateful to the Colorado Dental Hygiene Association and Legislators for making Colorado one of only a couple states in the country that permit a hygienist to own and operate their own practice. I would like to give additional recognition to my entire staff for their dedication to the highest level of quality care and to my fulltime dental assistant, Sonshyne “ Sonny” Clark. Sonny is a bright light in our organization with her altruistic personality, organizational skills and dedication to our mission and vision.