California- Western University of Health Sciences / We Care Dental- AEGD

We Care Dental began in 2009 utilizing donated space and then in 2011 opened a four chair clinic in Rancho Mirage, CA that was dedicated to providing comprehensive general dentistry services to special needs patients in the Coachella Valley area that includes Palm Springs.  In addition to dentist volunteers, the site was manned by rotating dental students from Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine in Pomona, CA.  Care for patients was funded by a mix of fee for service, dental insurance, Denti-Cal and grants administered through a partnering public benefit charity called Dessert Friends of the Developmentally Disabled (DFDD).  The addition of 2 residents in 2015 provided through a jointly sponsored program with NYU Langone Medical Center added additional providers to serve an expanding patient base.  However, We Care Dental rapidly outgrew its small facility and therefore partnered with WesternU in 2016 to open a new 11 chair facility a few blocks from the original location.  In 2017 the site became a wholly owned satellite clinical training site of WesternU.  The program now includes 2 residents, 6 WesternU dental students, and 1 full time and several part time faculty who provide clinical supervision.  At the state-of-the art facility students and residents receive experience in a wide range of services including advanced oral surgery and removable and fixed prosthodontics.  Although We Care Dental still maintains its mission of providing care to special needs/medically complex patients, the patient pool has expanded to include a diverse mix of patient types that will prepare residents for future practice in any community.  To learn more about our facility, please see our video:

What is the mission of your health center?

To provide high quality affordable comprehensive dental care to all residents of the Coachella Valley with an emphasis on caring for those with special needs or who lack access to care.

What types of dental services can I expect to perform?

  • Operative dentistry
  • Single and multi-unit fixed prosthodontics
  • Removable prosthodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Oral surgery including surgical extraction, socket preservation, & pre-prosthetic surgery
  • Nitrous oxide sedation
  • Plans are in place to expand services in the areas of CAD-CAM restorations, Invisalign orthodontics, implant placement and restoration, and outpatient sedation/general anesthesia.

What types of technologies can I expect to use?

  • New (2016) ADEC dental units
  • Fiberoptic handpieces
  • Surgical handpieces
  • Digital intraoral and panoramic radiography (Schick sensors)
  • Rotary endodontics
  • Electronic health record (Eaglesoft)

What is the patient population?

Age – Child (0-13)  14% / Adult 86%

Dentical 50%; Cash/Insurance 50%

Special needs 5-10%

What is life like outside of the clinic?

Rancho Mirage is located about 12 miles southeast of Palm Springs and 120 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, CA.  The city boasts world-class resorts, outstanding golf courses, spas, dining, superb tennis, and world-renowned health facilities like Eisenhower Medical Center. The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Tolerance Education Center, the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert and the Braille Institute deliver programs and services that rival those in any major city.  Many outdoor activities such as Joshua Tree National Park and the San Bernardino National Forest and San Gorgonio Wilderness are within driving distance. 

Number of Positions 2
Organization Address

Western University of Health Sciences / We Care Dental
71949 Highway 111 ste 110B
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270-4826

Contact information

Dr. Denise Frances
AEGD Associate Director - Southern, Central and Northern California

David Lazarchik, DMD
Associate Dean
WesternU College of Dental Medicine


We Care Dental- Rancho Mirage
4.2-900 Bob Hope Drive, Suite 111
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

We Care Dental- Rancho Mirage
71-949 Highway 111, Suite 200
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Year network/office opened 2010
Total # of operatories 11
Electronic records Yes
Digital Radiology Yes

Real World Experience. Real World Advantage.

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