OHP Success Story – Autumn 2021

Cindy, age 41, enjoys reading poetry, horror stories, and soaking up the smell of fresh coffee brewing. In her spare time, she also loves to bring her creativity to life as she pieces together jewelry for both her friends and others to enjoy.

A few years ago, Cindy had a terrible fall that left her bedridden. Cindy was referred to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) because she was unable to be treated in a traditional dental office. When Cindy was first seen by ENDS mobile dental provider Dr. John Aspros, she had a severe dental infection that was not only causing her pain, but had a serious effect on her cognition too. “I had a real hard time remembering things because of my infection. I had constant head and neck pains because of it, and it really took a toll on me. I could not do a lot of the basic everyday things I needed to do,” Cindy recounted. “Dr. Aspros restored my belief in doctors, he went above and beyond my expectations.”

The ENDS program is a partnership established by four Oregon Dental Care Organizations:

 -Capitol Dental Care
 -CareOregon Dental
 -Managed Dental Care of Oregon
 -Willamette Dental

Prior to her visit with Dr. Aspros, Cindy explained that she had an acute phobia of meeting with a dentist due to a prior traumatic experience with a dental provider. Cindy said of her visit with Dr. Aspros, “He made sure I was comfortable and that all my needs were met. He even invited me to reach out to him at home, reassuring me that I could contact him for anything at any time. How many doctors do you know who would treat their patients like that?”

Since having her procedure done, Cindy explained that she feels much better and is finally able to rest without having any pain. She has since been on a clean diet, has changed her lifestyle and states that in general she just feels better. “Dr Aspros is a provider that is rare to come across, and I cannot express enough how much he has touched my life.” Thanks to the Medicaid dental benefits provided by Oregon Health Plan (OHP), the ENDS Program is able to connect patients in need with providers like Dr. Aspros.

OHP Success Story – Summer 2021

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
-CareOregon Dental
-Managed Dental Care of Oregon
-Willamette Dental
 
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).

OHP Success Story – Spring 2021

Jen, age 32, has struggled with disabilities since an early age. As she got older, her schizophrenia became more apparent, as did its impact on her overall health. Jen has lived on the coast for most of her life and, when she’s able to, enjoys going for walks by the beach. Jen has had serious fears stemmed from adverse dental experiences in the past.  Jen’s life-long caregiver, Pearl, has always been concerned about maintaining Jen’s oral health. “If you can’t eat and you can’t see, it’s your main crest of living. It really is a big barrier. It affects your total health.”
 
After unsuccessful attempts in a traditional dental office, Jen was referred to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) for dental treatment. ENDS provides dental care access to individuals with exceptional needs, serving those who are functionally impaired, requiring assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and are unable to obtain treatment in a traditional office setting.
 
The ENDS program is a partnership established by four Oregon Dental Care Organizations:
 – Capitol Dental Care
– CareOregon Dental
– Managed Dental Care of Oregon
– Willamette Dental
 
One of ENDS’ providers, Lori Killen Aus, EPDH, worked very slowly to gain Jen’s trust. On their first visit, Lori was able to get Jen to talk about those bad experiences and assured her that such ordeals would not happen with her. Jen responded to Lori’s calming expertise by opening her mouth enough for Lori to brush her teeth. Six months later, Jen was still very hesitant, but Lori was able to calm her down by reminding her that she was not there to create a dreadful visit. The next time Lori visited, Jen was practically jumping up and down with her arms open for a hug.

As time has gone on, Jen has grown to trust Lori so much with her dental care that she recently asked Lori if she could take a photo of the two of them for her to cherish. The ENDS program is fortunate to work with providers like Lori Killen Aus, EPDH, who has been practicing dental hygiene for over 40 years. Because of the dental care benefits made possible by Oregon Health Plan (OHP), and providers like Lori, Jen is having her dental needs met and couldn’t be happier.

OHP Success Story – Winter 2021

Peggy, age 98, has led a very active life. She grew up in the coal-mining region of Pennsylvania, worked for the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) during WWII, then made a career at the Telephone Company before retiring to Oregon. Peggy has always enjoyed hiking, bird-watching, traveling, volunteering, and getting together with family and friends. Health issues led her to an assisted living facility, where she enjoys exercise, reading, and doing all kinds of puzzles.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Peggy was doing well until recently when she began to experience unremitting tooth pain. Peggy’s son got her in touch with Dr. James Hayden at Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS). The ENDS program is a partnership established by four Oregon dental care organizations:
-Capitol Dental Care
-CareOregon Dental
-Managed Dental Care of Oregon
-Willamette Dental

Dr. Hayden and his dental assistant, Candice, visited Peggy at her assisted living facility and successfully removed the diseased tooth. “What a relief!” Peggy stated after the extraction. “And they were nice, too.” Peggy’s son also commented “They did a great job”. “My mom is not the easiest dental patient. I was impressed with every aspect of ENDS, from the timely communications with their scheduler, Debbie, to the compassionate and professional care by James and Candice. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”

Because of the dental care benefits made possible by Oregon Health Plan (OHP), and providers like Dr. Hayden, Peggy has had all her dental needs met and she couldn’t be happier.