OHP Success Story – Winter 2018

Picture1Kay, 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.

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OHP Success Story – Winter 2017

Picture1Ernesto, 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.