Each month APLA features a client who has benefited from APLA's services:
It's hard to underestimate how thoroughly APLA client Noland Butler was affected by his severe dental problems.
"I couldn't communicate with people," he explains. "I was too self-conscious to speak, or if I did, I couldn't clearly pronounce my words. My mouth and gums would constantly hurt. I'd lost teeth. And I could only eat soft food -- and even then, only on one side of my mouth."
Noland would have also dreaded the process of seeing a dentist -- if he could have afforded it.
"There's the self-consciousness about the work I needed. And then, the fact that I'm HIV-positive. But it never got that far, because even the co-pays added up," he says.
But when he came to APLA for his weekly visit to the food pantry, he noticed a card advertising APLA's dental clinics.
"That's when I met [Medical Director of APLA Dental Services] Dr. Steven Vitero," Noland beams, "and every visit with him was a success."
"Everything from the registration process to the anesthesia was comfortable," Noland adds. "And Dr. Vitero took so much pride in the work he did for me."
"Two beautiful crowns later," Noland feels like he's part of the conversation again.
"I'm more social, less withdrawn, and I can express myself in a more positive way now," he says. "I'm just a healthier person, all the way around."