Tim, age 57, was born and raised in Oregon. He worked for quite some time in a warehouse as a certified forklift driver. Tim has a lifelong passionate interest in animals. He also has strong family ties and his face lights up whenever his sister visits him at the long-term care facility where he resides.
Tim has faced many obstacles with his health, including a serious car accident in 1987 and later a sinus Cancer diagnosis at the age of 50. A series of seizures and a stroke have left him unable to walk or speak, and now he requires assistance with most everyday activities. This also made it difficult for him to seek care in a traditional office setting.
Due to his difficulties maintaining proper oral care, Tim was experiencing a considerable amount of pain with many infected and broken teeth. Fortunately, those who know Tim described him as a fighter, someone who is very friendly and loves to interact with others. Tim’s sister and guardian, Kyria, tried seeking treatment for him at several different clinics before reaching out to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS). When her brother was referred to Dr. John Aspros, an ENDS mobile dentist, Kyria was elated, “I think it’s wonderful that you guys go to different places, and that we found a dentist that would treat him in the hospital if needed.” Tim did end up requiring hospital dentistry, which was coordinated by the ENDS program. After multiple extractions he received much needed dental care.
Since Tim’s procedure, he is no longer in pain from ongoing infections. His sister told ENDS, “The process went quickly, results were good, and I’m happy about our time with the program.”
The dental care benefits that are made available through Oregon Health Plan, and providers like Dr. Aspros, are the reason that Tim and others like him are able to receive quality oral health care that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Corrine, age 31, was born with Down’s syndrome. She grew up in the Salem area, along with her mom, older sister, niece, nephew, and her brother in law. Her mother, Diane, says that Corrine has been a pretty easy going person since she was little. She loves to draw, listen to country music, and is fond of scary movies, particularly ones featuring zombies and other ghouls. Naturally, her favorite holiday is Halloween. Corrine’s favorite foods include orange chicken, burritos, and milkshakes; being able to bite in to such delicious cuisines is one of the reasons why oral health is so very important to her.
Prior to being assigned to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS), Corrine did not have a primary care dentist. Diane said that she has no idea what she would have done, if it weren’t for Dr. James P. Hayden Jr. and his services. When Corrine knows that the dentist is coming to treat her she looks forward to his visit all day.
Although Corrine is unable to cooperate in a traditional clinic setting, she strives to be a model patient for the dentist. Diane says Dr. Hayden does his part to smoothly administer treatment as well, “He is very kind and patient, and never pushes Corrine into a treatment that she isn’t comfortable with”. Throughout the years, Corrine has occasionally required more intensive treatment in a hospital setting. Dental surgery can be a bit disruptive to her daily routine, but she has had a wonderful experience every time. Her mother says that after treatment Corrine always bounces back to her old self and feels much better.
Diane is very grateful for the ENDS program and the benefits Corrine has through Oregon Health Plan. ENDS ensures providers like Dr. Hayden are able to provide essential oral healthcare to Corrine and others like her throughout Oregon.
Ernesto, age 15, is an active boy with a love of the outdoors and animals, particularly pigs and penguins. He also enjoys playing video games and watching cartoons, such as Thomas the Train, SpongeBob, and Peppa Pig. Like many other growing adolescents, Ernesto enjoys eating and loves chicken.
Ernesto recently experienced a bad dental abscess accompanied by severe pain and swelling which hindered his ability to eat well. Due to Cri-du-chat syndrome (a rare genetic disorder caused by a missing part of chromosome 5p), sensory problems, and his bipolar disorder Ernesto is not able to seek treatment in a traditional dental office setting. His non-verbal status, inability to sit still for any length of time, and aversion to being touched all proved to be great challenges for Ernesto.
Thankfully, working alongside the team at Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) and Dr. Brian Summers office, hospital dentistry was urgently coordinated and Ernesto’s procedure was performed promptly and efficiently to alleviate his pain and suffering. Once Dr. Summers was able to thoroughly examine Ernesto, it turned out he had severely impacted wisdom teeth that required extractions as well.
Ernesto’s mother said that since his treatment, “Ernesto is a lot happier! He is able to eat the foods he wants and is not in any pain. His abscess is gone and he is healing well.” She went on to say Dr. Brian Summers, “did an awesome job,” and she is very happy that her son is no longer in pain and was able to be seen in such a timely manner.
The wonderful care and compassion rendered by providers, such as Dr. Summers, along with the dental benefits provided by the Oregon Health Plan and coordination by the ENDS program make it possible for patients to receive the essential oral health care they need.
Good News Community Health Center
Mark, age 48, has a complex medical history which requires him to be monitored in a hospital setting for dental treatment. He is afflicted with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an acute form of polyneuritis, often preceded by a respiratory infection, causing weakness and often paralysis of the limbs. Mark also has cirrhosis, hepatitis C, and a history of abundant bleeding that requires transfusions, all of which are exacerbated by drug and alcohol abuse. Mark was referred to the Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) Program for infected and broken teeth. Treatment had been attempted in a traditional dental office, but his history of bleeding from a ruptured esophagus and profuse coughing when reclined in a dental chair made it impossible.
With so many ailments, it was essential for Mark to be cleared by his Primary Care Physician (PCP) before undergoing general anesthesia for his dental treatment. Throughout the challenges of coordinating his care, Dr. Bob Sayson embodied patience and understanding to ensure Mark could be cleared for dental surgery. Unexpectedly, days before Mark’s dental procedure he was hospitalized for severe anemia, so Dr. Sayson postponed Mark’s hospital dentistry and took the necessary steps to ensure Mark would be healthy enough for surgery. When Mark would stop by his office unannounced Dr. Sayson still made time to see his patient. During the weeks leading up to Mark’s appointment, Dr. Sayson coordinated with Mark and the ENDS staff to ensure he would be successfully treated. The day of the surgery Dr. Sayson drove Mark to the hospital and accompanied him throughout his entire dental procedure.
Dr. Sayson opened Good News Community Health Center in May 2007. Before he started his practice in Portland, Dr. Sayson’s medical work took him and his wife around the globe as medical missionaries. They cared for people in the mountainous regions of the Middle East, villages in the African countryside, and the dense tropical forests of the Philippines.
Bob Sayson, MD
The dental benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan and providers like Dr. Sayson 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.
Martin, age 61, is an Oregon native raised in Portland. He was born with Down syndrome and has struggled over this past year with Parkinson’s Disease Dementia. Even though he has had these challenges, Martin is still enthusiastic about life and loves meeting new people. His sister, Nancy, describes him as, “A character with a witty personality and a funny sense of humor; he is very social and never treats anyone like a stranger.” Martin enjoys going out into the community, going to the market and taking short walks. He also loves to eat; his favorite dish is a hamburger served alongside French fries. The walls of his room are lined from top to bottom with posters featuring Batman, Superman, and many other super heroes. He also likes listening to golden oldies, like Old Time Rock and Roll. He loves the local wildlife and is often greeted by a raccoon that comes to his back door every morning.
Martin’s first experience with Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) was with Dr. Brian Koch, who went out and examined Martin because he was having severe tooth pain. The mobile dentist was very kind and took his time with Martin, he never pushed Martin to do anything that he was not comfortable doing.
Despite Dr. Koch’s best efforts, due to Martin’s acute situational anxiety he was later referred to the hospital for treatment under general anesthesia. Since his dental procedure, Martin has shown a great improvement in his mood and overall health. Before being introduced to the ENDS program, Martin was going into a traditional dental office setting where he had issues staying still and letting a dentist look in his mouth. After being treated in the hospital by Dr. John Aspros, Martin has become a lot more like himself and so much happier.
Nancy says, “His mood has changed tremendously and he’s back to his witty self.” She is very appreciative of the ENDS program and what it has done for her brother. Nancy said that without ENDS she would have been at a loss with Martin. The help that he has received has been a huge blessing in his life. They will be forever grateful for Dr. Aspros, the ENDS program, and the benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan.
“Eating and Smiling Again”
Ruth, age 61, was born and raised in Portland. For most of her life she worked as a Certified Nursing Aide, taking care of children and adults. Over the past few years she has developed dementia and acute situational anxiety. Due to her declining condition she developed the inability to tolerate treatment in a traditional dental office and even at home. She was in so much pain that her caregivers had great difficulty even touching her mouth. “She was losing weight and not eating – it was very touch and go,” said one facility worker. Her mobile dental provider, Dr. James Edwards, recommended she be treated in a hospital setting.
Hospital treatment requires the coordination of many providers and staff. It can even require a great deal of support from the patient’s family or guardians. Ruth wasn’t exactly on an island, but she was without any family support. Fortunately, her Primary Care Physician, care facility staff, providers from the hospital, and the staff at Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) stepped in to fill that gap. The PCP, Dr. Robert Tilley, signed the consent forms necessary for the surgery to go forward. Without him taking on that responsibility Ruth would not have received this crucial treatment.
After being successfully treated her caregivers report that, “She’s eating and smiling again, participating in activities that she wasn’t able to do before the surgery.” Ruth has spent her life caring for others. The dental care benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan, and providers like Dr. Robert Tilley and the ENDS Program help to ensure that she is taken care of too.
“He was happy too. I know I was.”
Fred, Age 67, has an intellectual disability, suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Autism. While this made it a challenge for him to be seen in a traditional dental office setting, Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) provides dental care access for such individuals.
Those who work with Fred describe him as a very fun individual to be around. He can also be extremely captivated by things, and Fred’s support staff are careful to keep him out of unsafe areas. His caregivers have said, “Sometimes he sees something he wants and he’s not going to stop until he gets it.” Because of this, there was concern that Fred’s attachment to his old dentist would make the transition to ENDS problematic. “Fortunately, Lori is ideal for Fred.”
Lori Killen Aus, Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist (EPDH), has been practicing dental hygiene since 1980, and joined the ENDS program in 2012. She has a real passion for her profession, and practices with integrity and a warm heart. Lori’s first visit with Fred demonstrated this well. In the past he has required conscious sedation before allowing someone to reach into his mouth to deliver treatment, but with Lori that was not needed. Her accommodating chairside manner helped Fred to sit still and allowed her clean his teeth in his group home.
Fred likes to play games with his caregivers and enjoys listening to a good country beat. More recently, a severe shoulder injury has slowed him down, but he is as cheerful as ever. When Lori finished treating him he gave her a couple of hugs for the road. “Apparently he was happy too. I know I sure was.” The dental care benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan and providers like Lori Killen Aus, EPDH, allow thousands of patients like Fred to receive essential oral health care.