Kay, age 80, is an artist who has done a lot of writing, oil paintings, and water colors. She has always had a beautiful garden that reflects her love of the outdoors and all the hard work she has put into it. Kay loves nature and has often enjoyed hosting friends and family from all walks of life in the greenery of her yard. Throughout her life, Kay has donated to nature habitats and parks.
Over the past year, Kay’s Parkinson’s disease advanced so much that she now has to reside in a long-term care facility. The disease progressed so aggressively that she eventually became unable to leave the care facility. Fortunately, Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) was able to connect her with a mobile dentist, Dr. Brian Koch. Kay has always diligently brushed her teeth and her husband brings her oral hygiene supplies; she has felt very on top of her oral care. To her, “A smile is a greeting card.” That is why she was surprised to hear from Dr. Koch, that even with all of the effort she was putting into her teeth, there were other problems affecting her otherwise healthy smile. It can be difficult to stay hydrated and producing adequate saliva can lead to dry mouth, which can lead to gum inflammation and other oral health issues.
Kay’s daughter says due to her mother’s Parkinson’s, she was not quite aware of these other problems. She could not feel the pain the way that someone else would have felt it. Thankfully, Dr. Koch was able to diagnose the issues and help her mitigate some of the damage. After evaluating Kay in her care facility, Dr. Koch referred her to Dr. John Aspros, an ENDS hospital dentist. Dr. Aspros was able to clean and help repair the more challenging areas of her mouth. Since the procedure, Kay’s daughter reports that her mother has noticed a better feeling in her mouth. She is very happy with the treatment.
Kay’s daughter is an advocate for the elderly and says that she has had a wonderful experience working with ENDS providers and staff. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I do not know what I would do without these benefits.” The dental benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan, and providers like Dr. Koch and Dr. Aspros, are essential for thousands of patients to receive quality oral health care. The ENDS program connects providers throughout Oregon to bring oral health care to those that need it most.