|#24 and #25 S. Umpqua High & Tri County Elementary
|September 14 – 25, 2015 by Carrie Peterson
|The Tooth Taxi started off the school year with a return trip to South Umpqua High School in Myrtle Creek. When we visited this school earlier in the year the need for comprehensive dental care was overwhelming, so it was important for us to return and complete additional treatment on the students. Along with trying to see the 18 kids who had treatment remaining from March, we had 20 additional incoming freshman sign up for screening, 75% of whom needed treatment. Unfortunately, in the six months since our last visit almost none of the kids had been to their dental home. Many of them have been dealing with chronic dental pain affecting their ability to comfortably eat, sleep well at night and concentrate in class. Accessing quality care in a timely fashion is a major obstacle for families in this area.
Halfway through the week our generator quit working. With no plug in to use at this location we were scrambling to come up with a power source. The Tooth Taxi team did an incredible job of brainstorming possible solutions along with some help from the schools maintenance team. The school district was even willing to rent a generator for us so we could continue, however, when you are in a rural location resources can be limited and there was no one in the area who had a large enough one to power the Tooth Taxi. Our solution came in the form of another dental van. MTI had a van available in Roseburg and were generous enough to come and help us serve this community. We were able to plug into their generator and power ours. It was disappointing to lose valuable treatment time on this trip but before we left we were able to work with the school and put in place a plan to come back in January.
The following week we headed back to Myrtle Creek, this time to Tri City Elementary. We arrived pulling a loaner generator on a trailer behind the Tooth Taxi while ours stayed behind in Portland for repairs. Unfortunately this generator also quit working on day two of our visit. Again we were faced with the problem of having a large amount of kids with dental needs and no power. MTI once again was able to loan us their van. Their willingness to partner with us for both of our trips to Douglas County allowed us to continue to provide much needed services to kids who may otherwise not have the opportunity to have dental treatment done. Several kids at this site had active infections due to the severity of their decay and we were grateful to be there to help. Catherine was also able to provide valuable oral hygiene education to 98 kids in their classroom.
Dr. Jeanine Herzog joined us for two days to help provide treatment. Having two doctors on board gave us the chance to maximize the number of kids who received treatment. We also love to see Mother and Daughter work side by side!
Dr. Jeanne Herzog
74 students screened
40 appointments in the van
$33,706 value of free dental services provided
September 2008- September 25th 2015
• 16,731 students screened
• 17,018 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
• 8,761 appointments in the van
• $4,959,151 value of free dental services provided