Alex, age 54, lives with Rasmussen’s syndrome with intractable seizures and numerous other afflictions. He is also unable to verbally communicate due to a traumatic brain injury. Since this made it impossible for Alex to be treated in a traditional dental office, he was referred to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) to receive treatment from a mobile dentist.
Recently, Alex had been experiencing an extraordinary amount of tooth pain. The pain grew to be so unbearable that he was refusing to eat. The ENDS mobile dentist, Dr. Jennifer Navis with Geriatric Dental Group, was able to visit the group home where he resides to diagnose the problem. However, due to his developmental disability he is unable to consciously cooperate for treatment. To address his dental needs, ENDS coordinated hospital dental care for Alex.
Through Oregon Health Plan Medicaid, Alex is enrolled with ENDS’ dental care organization partners. The ENDS program is a partnership established by four Oregon dental care organizations:
Capitol Dental Care
Managed Dental Care of Oregon
The ENDS program provides dental care access to individuals with exceptional needs, serving those who are functionally impaired, requiring assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and are unable to obtain treatment in a traditional office setting.
Alex’s caregivers are happy to report that, since undergoing hospital dentistry, he is eating again. “His teeth look really good! The dentist got all the plaque off them.” The dental benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan Medicaid, as well as providers like Dr. Navis, 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.
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.