Matt, age 40, has lost two hundred and twenty-three pounds in the last 10 months. These days, he’s all about positivity and making good things happen. Recently, Matt was excited to see his daughter graduate and become a nurse. He also credits his health improvements with making it easier to feel comfortable forming interpersonal relationships.
Matt was first seen by an Exceptional Needs Dentist (ENDS), Dr. James P. Hayden, Jr., shortly after the pandemic began. At the time, he was bed bound and struggling with acute dental pain. “Dr. Hayden saved my mouth from major infection. He and his assistant, Heather, have done an absolutely fantastic job for me.”
The ENDS program is a partnership established by four Oregon Dental Care Organizations:
-Capitol Dental Care
-Managed Dental Care of Oregon
Another ENDS provider, Lori Killen Aus, Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist (EPDH), has also been out to see Matt . “Lori, who does the cleaning, is fantastic too! And really good company,” he recalls of her visits. Lori, who has been practicing hygiene since 1980, has mastered the art of communicating just how vital a role oral health has in our overall health.
In recent months, Matt has been learning to walk again and reclaim his mobility. He describes his diet as “ninety-percent vegetables, ten-percent meat,” embracing the relationship between his oral health and nutrition. “When I first met Dr. Hayden, I couldn’t even sit up and the providers with ENDS have done an incredible job. “
Matt and I spoke about the bittersweet possibility of no longer needing mobile dentist services in the future, “Dr. Hayden is professional and so personable; I love talking to him. I wouldn’t switch dentists for anything!”. The ENDS Program connects patients with providers like Dr. Hayden and Lori, thanks to the dental care benefits made possible by Oregon Health Plan (OHP).