Wednesday, August 13, 2008

dental care

I have to brag today. I work in a remote area with few healthcare providers. BUT, we have a dental clinic associated with my clinic with two full-time dentists, two hygienists, and a few dental assistants. Because we are a federally-funded community health center, we accept all insurances, all medicaid plans, and we have a sliding fee scale for those without insurance. In addition, our dentists here can refer children to a pediatric dentist 75 miles south for care.

The other day (actually more like a month ago), I had a little girl come in to see me with poor weight gain, decreased appetite, and overall grumpiness. She had indeed gained very little weight in the past year, and I couldn't argue with the mother about the grouchiness! I did a full exam, and the only thing I found was obvious dental caries. On further questioning, she did complain of pain with eating sweets and cold foods. I called the dental clinic, and they worked her in immediately. Two weeks ago, she had dental surgery under anesthesia. I saw her on Monday, and not only had she already gained weight, but she was so happy. Needless to say, her mother was thrilled. And she immediately took the bottle away from the fourteen month old who was still drinking milk at night from it; I had been begging her to do this for months, but to no avail. What a relief! I really feel like I made a difference to one little girl and to her little sister!!

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