As they pulled their mobile dentistry unit through the gates of Rose Brooks Center, you could immediately sense something remarkable was going to happen. Eva Vlach, Rose Brooks Center’s Health Services Coordinator was all smiles, “because we know our residents have a tremendous need for dental work!”
On a sunny afternoon last fall, Pacific Dental Services Foundation’s mobile unit stopped at Rose Brooks, along with four dentists and a team of hygienists, dental assistants and Generation Smile support staff to provide full dental services for our residents. The Foundation’s Regional Manager, Melissa Lowry explains, “The bus is stocked with everything we need, including x-ray machines, to perform dentistry as if we were in the office.”
She was right, it felt like we were at the dentist! The dental crew was able to take x-rays, perform delicate dental work, and even create crowns in their mobile lab. In all, 25 residents received cleanings, periodontal root scaling, root canals, crowns, and/or fillings depending on their needs. One woman even had two root canals, with crowns, while another had seven cavities filled.
As with any visit to the dentist, there was some anxiety. For some of the residents it was because they hadn’t had this care in so long, and they were afraid they would be told it was hopeless. For others, it was triggering past trauma of being assaulted in the face or mouth by their abuser, leaving damage. But the dentists and their team were kind and gentle with every single patient. We call that being trauma-informed!
Later the patients reported being grateful for the service and glad they had attended. One said, “It’s going to feel great not putting my hand over my mouth every time I smile or laugh.” Then another woman said, “This is a really big day for me. Ten years of not smiling is a long time.”
We are thankful for Pacific Dental Services Foundation and their amazing Generation Smile staff. Because of them, we can’t stop smiling.