|Veneta, Veneta Elementary
November 7 - 11
The Tooth Taxi recently visited one of our favorite locations, Veneta Elementary. The school staff, volunteers and community members are always incredibly gracious to our staff and thankful for the services that we can provide to their students.
During our first visit to this school in 2013, 84% of the kids screened needed treatment, 27% of those were experiencing pain or had an active infection. Three years and six visits later 45% of the kids screened needed treatment with only 12% had pain or infection. This is a huge improvement and a testament to the importance of the Tooth Taxi making regular return visits to high need areas.
We shared our screening day with a hygienist from Lane County. She identified several children who had high needs and had not initially signed up for services. The school reached out to those families and could get a quick turnaround on the paperwork so we able to see some of the children. One of whom, was a young lady who had several teeth causing her pain, we got her in, extracted one of the teeth bothering her and do some fillings. The next day I saw her on the playground and she came up and gave me a hug. When I asked her how the area where we took out her tooth was feeling she replied, “So much better! When can I come out and have the others that are hurting me taken care of?” We brought her out that afternoon and she was ecstatic to have two additional teeth extracted and more fillings done. All she kept saying was thank you.
“I like broccoli, I don’t have any cavities because I eat broccoli hard.” Kindergartner
• 47 students screened
• 23 appointments in the van
• $19,619 value of free dental services provided
September 2008-November 11th 2016
• 18,006 students screened
•19,351 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
• 10 ,243 appointments in the van
• $5,890,383 value of free dental care provided
Prineville, Crook County Middle School
September 23 -30
The Tooth Taxi rolled back into Prineville after a five-year absence. Setting up for a week long visit at Crook County Middle School, we were happy to see a familiar face in district nurse Terry Rich. She did a phenomenal job of recruiting students, reaching the children with the most need and the fewest resources.
While our focus was middle school students, we saw a handful of students from two neighboring elementary schools as well as a nearby alternative high school. Two siblings from one of the elementary schools had multiple primary teeth with large amounts of decay, each needing a combination of fillings and extractions. The kids had insurance coverage through the state, but the soonest they could see a dentist was 3 months out. We took care of the teeth causing them discomfort, keeping them out of pain until their appointment. We also had an 11 year old girl who had broken her front tooth prior to her visit to the Tooth Taxi. There was no cavity, but it had been quite cold sensitive and she was self-conscience of how it looked. The team was able to fix the broken tooth as well as provide a cleaning and sealants.
We finished the week with volunteer dentist and DFO board member Dr. Anthony Ramos. Dr. Ramos helped us get a 15 year old girl out of pain. She had missed days of school and been woken up at night due to a severely decayed permanent molar that was beyond the point of being saved. She and her family were very thankful to get the tooth extracted, they did not have dental insurance and were struggling with how they would afford to have it done.
• 37 students screened
• 73% of the children screened needed treatment
• 129 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
• 32 appointments in the van
• $23,443 value of free dental services provided
Culver, Culver Elementary
September 19 -23
The Tooth Taxi kicked off its fall travels with a trip to Culver Elementary in Central Oregon. The team enjoyed getting to go into this small community. They experienced great support from the school staff and had engaged and enthusiastic kids on board the Tooth Taxi all week.
Two sisters in particular stood out. The older of the two did great for her appointment, sailing through the work with no apprehension at all. When it came time for her younger sister to get in the chair for her work she was a little nervous. Her big sister came to the rescue, holding her hand and reassuring her that it was nothing to worry about, using her own experiences to put her sister’s mind at ease. We were able to complete all the needed treatment on both of the girls. Later in the week they came out with their parents and had drawings and a thank you card they had made for the team. The parents were not only grateful for the dental services their kids received but for the positive experience the girls had on the Tooth Taxi.
We ended the week on a high note with return volunteer Dr. Mark Jensen coming in to help us provide over $19,000 in services for the week.
“I’m brushing my teeth more often now, I used to only do it half of the time.” A 7 year old boy, proud of his improved home care effort.
63 students screened
40 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
26 appointments in the van