A brave little girl

Nine-year-old Amelia eased into a reclining position on the dental chair during her dentist visit. As she did, she acknowledged, “This is my first time to the dentist.”

A worsening pain brought her to the Care & Connect Mobile Health clinic.

The pain was in the back of her mouth, and her mom thought she may have a cavity. Amelia’s family struggled to find a dentist. They also had trouble navigating the complicated world of dental insurance. They didn’t have the financial resources to buy dental insurance outright.

Through a smile, Amelia tells the truth. She’s a little nervous about seeing the dentist. Despite the nerves, she’s also optimistic. Seeing the dentist is important, she said, because it means the health of her teeth will improve. And that means no more pain.

One of thousands don’t visit the dentist

Amelia is like thousands of other children in Oregon who rarely, if ever, have a dentist visit. Usually, it’s because they lack adequate insurance or simply can’t access a dentist. Around 117,000 children in Oregon lack insurance, according to Oregon Health and Science University. Dental professionals consider the gap in care for children to be a hidden health care epidemic.

Amelia came to our Care & Connect Mobile Health clinic because she started feeling sharp pain in a tooth several months ago. The pain eventually disappeared, but that’s when Amelia’s mother discovered the root cause was a cavity.

The volunteer dentist who treated Amelia said the pain went away because the cavity became so bad that it killed the nerves in the tooth.

As the dentist inspected the rest of Amelia’s teeth, he discovered other serious cavities.

Because of your gifts and the support of our dental professionals, Amelia received two fillings. The volunteer dentist referred her to another dentist visit that would be focused on performing the rest of the work. Because of your donations, children like Amelia are freed from their dental pain.

A surprisingly painless dentist visit

The nerves Amelia felt at the beginning of the appointment disappeared. The loving care she received from the volunteer dentist put her totally at ease. She shared about her favorite class (math), because it was the most useful in real life. She mentioned that she tries to brush her teeth everyday. And that’s a habit she’ll continue now before her next dentist visit.

And, the truth for Amelia is that the dentist visit was completely worth it.

You can support the work of sending Care & Connect Mobile Health vans throughout the Pacific Northwest. Consider donating today.