|Mar, 26 2012 By Mary Daly
It is no easy feat driving the Tooth Taxi in downtown Portland, but that is where we parked while schools were closed for Spring Break. We spent three days treating youth at New Avenues For Youth, where homeless youth in transition can visit the drop-in center for meals as well as job training and education services. For the most part the youth were grateful for the work that we provided; many had not received dental care in years. Parking issues downtown? Not a problem; we had clearance to take the police car parking spots.
Annette Rotrock, dental assistant from The Creston Clinic
Jennifer Burditt, RDH
Dr. Joshua Moffitt
From the youth gallery:
"I'm so excited. I haven't had dental work for like 3 years!" – One of the first youth that showed up for screening.
After gagging on an x-ray film, patient says, "And that's why I'm not a sword swallower." It all became clear to us when he mentioned that he works in a circus.
Realities from the road:
Our first patient was robbed on the way to his appointment!
"I got a guitar to the face, a friendly one."
"I used to do a lot of coke (cocaine)."
"I've been looking for two years for low cost dental care, thank you very much."
100% of youth screened needed treatment
0% needed no treatment.
New Avenues for Youth, March 26 – March 28, 2012
•29 youth screened
•0 youth received oral hygiene education in the classroom
•31 appointments in the van
•$15,130 value of free dental services provided.
Tooth Taxi, September 4, 2008 – March 28, 2012
•11,248 students screened
•10,394 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
•4,863 students treated in the van
•$2,975,202 value of free dental services provided.