It was a bitterly cold, icy day in February 2016 when a pallet of $14,000 worth of dental supplies and small instruments arrived from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation; my colleagues and I at the Scioto County Community Action Dental Center in Ohio worked as a team and quickly unloaded the truck. Knowing the supplies would soon be used to aid local community members in need, the work warmed us up inside and out!
With the help of the donated products – ranging from floss and fluoride to gowns and gloves – our compassionate dentists are able to continue to give our patients individualized care. Many of the patients we treat feel embarrassed when they visit our office because they haven’t been to the dentist in a long time. Most of our patients are covered by Medicaid and require extensive work and oral health education. Our dentists do comprehensive exams and develop treatment plans, unless the patient presents for an emergency.
We do as much as we possibly can during the patient’s visit. These supplies allow us to deliver quadrant dentistry, meaning we can treat the issues in a large portion of the mouth in one visit, instead of multiple follow-ups for each issue. This is a great benefit for our patients because it is not easy for them to travel frequently to our office. Even though we are located in the center of town, our county is a rural Appalachian county and our patients travel from afar to be treated.
With the number one unmet health need in Ohio being oral health care, the Dental Center’s mission is to provide access to dental care, mirroring Henry Schein Cares’ goal of “helping health happen.” We both strive to care for at-risk and underserved populations in delivering health education and care. Thank you Henry Schein Cares Foundation!