About PDI Surgery Center

Building Healthy Smiles

"Healthcare is the most basic necessity we need to be able to provide children. Having a healthy mouth is the foundation of a healthy childhood."  

---Dr. Katherine Foster, MD, founding Board Member and 2013 Board Chair


To deliver safe, high quality, and specialized dental treatment to underserved youth and promote oral health through education to communities of Northern California.

Our Beginning

The Pediatric Dental Initiative of the North Coast, now PDI Surgery Center, was formed in 2001 when a group of health providers, child advocates, social service programs, and public health programs from Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake Counties joined forces to address unmet oral health needs for low income children.

In January 2008, after a $3 million capital campaign, PDI Surgery Center opened in Windsor, California with more than 400 children on the waiting list. Seven months later in August, PDI opened a second operating room, increasing patient capacity. 
Today, PDI is a critical dental surgery resource for children from underserved families, as well as children with developmental disabilities throughout Northern California. PDI is a licensed and accredited ambulatory surgery center.
Our service area has grown from three to 33 counties, more than half the counties in California. 
Why PDI's Services are Important:

  • 20,000 children in Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma Counties are at risk for Early Childhood Caries (ECC) or extreme tooth decay.
  • More than 1,900 children in our Northern California region have tooth decay severe enough to require anesthesia to receive dental treatment.
  • Families without insurance cannot afford hospital dentistry, which can cost from $3,000 – $12,000.
  • Prior to PDI, local families enrolled in Medi-Cal often traveled eight hours round-trip to reach dental hospitals that accepted their insurance.
  • Children from low-income families often do not receive timely treatment for tooth decay. Untreated cavities can cause pain and poor self-image and deeply impact a child’s overall health and quality of life.


Our Program Values:

  • Place patients and their families at the center of treatment.
  • Support and promote individual dignity, self-worth and self-determination.
  • Provide culturally competent, multi-language services that are confidential.
  • Continually work to improve outcomes and timelines.
  • Utilize best practices standards in all service components.
  • Support community collaborations that effectively serve our patient needs.


PDI at a Glance:  

  • PDI is Northern California's only specialized nonprofit dental facility treating children under anesthesia suffering from severe decay. Surgeries are performed under general anesthesia and may include fillings, extractions, pulpotomies, and crowns.
  • PDI Surgery Center's dentists and anesthesiologists are experienced in hospital dentistry. They are dedicated to safely treating children who suffer from severe tooth decay.
  • Our surgery center provides a safe, non-challenging environment for our patients. PDI uses the latest technology available including digital x-rays, an intra-oral camera, and monitoring equipment. 
  • Dental health is integral to the long-term health of patients. We provide educational tools to help improve dental hygeine practices and help prevent future decay.