For most people, going to the dentist is really not a choice. While they may not enjoy the experience, they know it’s necessary. But for some, it’s just not an option. Lacking insurance, money, or both, they allow small problems to become big ones over time. Fortunately, there is a group of caring people who come to the rescue. Recently in Suffolk, Virginia, dozens of dentists, hygienists and assistants, including many from ECPI’s School of Health Sciences,Medical Careers Institute, donated their time at Dental Access Days to help provide desperately needed care to about 145 people.
With limited time for each patient, treatment was limited to cleaning, fillings and extractions, with some patients receiving flippers, which are acrylic partial dentures used to replace a few missing teeth. Aside from the pain relief and cosmetic value, these treatments were about much more than simply making people feel better. Many times, people show up in the emergency room with serious dental problems, but hospitals can do little for these patients other than giving them antibiotics and painkillers.
Dental Access Days gave nearly 150 of those under-served patients a chance to improve their quality of life. This day of service provided yet another reminder to our students that it’s not just what you get, but what you give that makes all the difference.