Dental Assisting Program Director Leads Effort to Replace Missing Smiles
Newport News, VA – For the past five years, Vicki Brett has been on a tireless journey to provide basic dental care to Virginia’s uninsured. She is ECPI University’s Newport News Campus Dental Assisting Program Director, but also the volunteer chairperson for the Virginia Mission of Mercy (MOM) Project. Several times a year, the group harnesses a collection of dental professionals to provide free care to hundreds of people a day, usually in a school gymnasium.
For the most part, it is a rewarding experience beyond compare. However, there is a small group of people that she has been unable to forget. These are the ones whose teeth are so rotten that full-mouth extraction is the only option. “My heart is full to see them out of pain, but I wonder how they must feel to be toothless,” says Vicki.
MOM is funded by the Virginia Dental Association Foundation (VDAF) and this year, the group found it had about a $9,000 surplus. That gave Vicki an idea. She asked the VDAF if MOM could use those funds to provide dentures to this particular group of patients. Depending on whether they require upper and/or lower dentures, Vicki expects to help at least 25 people.
She’s also getting her dental assisting students involved. They will be on hand to assist dentists in taking impressions to create molds for the dentures. The pre-selected recipient’s first appointment will take place on Thursday, October 26 at 10:30 am at the Chesapeake Care Dental Clinic, located at 2145 S Military Highway in Chesapeake, Virginia.