Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pictures and Videos!

Well this week has been quite entertaining and I'll post more about it on Saturday but I wanted to post a few links for everyone.

The first two are videos done about the Tooth Taxi.

This one was done about a year ago.
This one was done about two weeks ago.

If you look below I uploaded slide shows of pictures from the tooth taxi, AK people visiting Oregon, and Hawaii. For those few of you who haven’t seen. The top one is work pics! Enjoy!

From the kid gallery(quotes):
“My tongue died”.
“My tongue is like feeling strange.”
“Last Christmas I went to Mexico, the old Mexico not the new one.”

Summary of Dental Services.
Tooth Taxi, September 4, 2008- Feb. 12, 2010
5705 students screened
1734 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
2208 students treated in the van
$1,463,611 value of free dental services provided.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Week of Extra Teeth!!

This week started being very well rested after a three day weekend! It was an amazing weekend spent with friends and family I love! Tuesday morning came and we were on our way to Cottage Grove! We screened approximately 150 kids ranging from K-11. It was a crazy busy screening but we were still able to treat a few kids in the afternoon. I decided this week is the week of extra teeth. We saw 4 kids with extra teeth! Some stayed and some we pulled. Tuesday was mostly extractions!!! YAY!! The more blood the happier I am! Hahaha! Wednesday was a crazy day we treated 10 patients and screened more patients. It was another day of pulling decaying teeth!! So fun! We pulled one anterior tooth that was a fused primary tooth so cool! Two front baby teeth that fused together! He also had extra permanent teeth that were coming in. Wish we could see how that turns out! The school we were at this week was amazing. Everyone there was so helpful and they made lunch for us every day which was so sweet of them. And it wasn’t the stereotypical scary cafeteria food! It was good! I never ate cafeteria food growing up cause well we didn’t have one in private school but the thought always kind of scared me J. Thursday we had two volunteer dentists. One in the morning and one in the afternoon both of which brought their own assistants. That always makes for a crazy day because they don’t know how anything works or where anything is or how we do anything. So it kind of slows everyone down because we have to stop to help them. It is great having them there though because it means that we can treat more patients. Which is our goal. We work as hard, fast, and long as we can in order to fit in as many kids as possible. We never have a second to breathe during the day and usually only take about a 10 minute lunch. It’s always a fun time though. I work with two amazing gentlemen that are as sarcastic as me! Constant abuse and teasing makes the days go by fast! Thursday though was another extraction day! We treated one kid that we had to pull two baby teeth and one permanent because he had an extra permanent lateral incisor. Now hopefully his other permanent incisor will move into the correct position. That same kid we saw earlier in the week. In his first appointment we extracted a tooth and did a filling and in his second appointment we did a filling, a crown, and three extractions! He was a trooper! We also had one kid on the complete other end of the spectrum that was completely out of control. We weren’t able to treat her at all. Oh we also saw a kid that had 13 primary teeth left and all 13 of them had visible decay. You know you have a problem when all of your teeth are black and full of decay! It’s one of those mouths that you look in and have a hard time deciding where to start! So many teeth need treatment and we only have one appointment to do as much as we can. Friday was a great day not only was it the end of the week and I got to go home we also saw some great patients. In 4 hours we treated 6 patients which is a crazy amount but we wanted to fit in as many as possible. It meant that we left a little late but it was worth it. The principal of bohemia elementary was so sweet and bought us an amazing and exotic lunch. I had a salmon sandwich, Greek salad, and a strawberry torte thing. Not really sure what the dessert was but it was amazing! All of the food was so good! We were pleasantly surprised by the warmth and generosity of the school.

The weather this week was gorgeous and I was able to go for walks every night and explore the town a little bit! The only covered railroad bridge this side of the Mississippi is located in cottage grove. It’s the beautiful wooden bridge with a stream below it in the middle of a residential area. It looks forgotten but that’s what makes it more beautiful. I wasn’t able to take pictures of it this week but I definitely want to go back and take pictures. This week was a great week because it reignited my passion for taking pictures. Oh and for all that are curious my hands are doing great. I am still working on gaining full mobility and strength but they are holding up to the daily use and aren’t asleep or sore at the end of the day! It’s great!!! My incisions are also healing nicely. I think my right hand will have a bigger scar than my left. But hopefully neither will be too big! The incisions are still very very sensitive to touch. Even when my jacket barely rubs the palm of my hand I want to die! This week I was loading a syringe and hit the palm of my hand on the top to aspirate it and I wanted to cry! Such sharp shooting pain! Didn’t make that mistake again! But I am really happy with the progress. Relaxation this weekend! It will always be busy spending time with friends but I think I’m going to take Sunday to myself!!

Riddle, OR next week! !

FYI: I think I'm going to post a mid week blog with quotes, pictures, and keep a look out :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Every week is an Adventure!

This week was supposed to be spent in Corvallis. We spend a week in each location but we ended up not having enough patients to treat and had to move locations mid week. Some schools that we go to 90% of the students have visible decay and need immediate treatment. In Corvallis at the school we were at was 30%. We saw all of our patients twice which never happens but it was good that we were able to. This week we actually did not get to do a lot of extractions which is what I enjoy the most! We've basically been doing pulp and crowns, fillings, and sealants. We have done a few extractions. We had to pull a permanent tooth this week because there was nothing left to the crown on the tooth at all just roots. She had some of the worst teeth. You could smell the decay when she opened her mouth. Her teeth were rotting out of her mouth. Quite a few of her molars had nothing left to the crown of the tooth and just roots. She also had a huge build up of calculus on her teeth which is very rare for a person her age. It was quite disturbing and of course it was right before lunch oh so appetizing lol! It's hard to see that but all we can do is help their conditions that currently exist as much as possible. We moved on Thursday to Brooks which is just north of Salem. The Tooth Taxi was just there last November and we were able to go back and finish treatment on some kids! We had some really sweet kids this week.
I also enjoyed the fact that I was in Corvallis and I was able to catch up with a few friends that I hadn’t seen in a few years. It was so much fun to reconnect with them. That is one advantage of my job is that I can travel around and see my friends that live in different areas of the state. Also since we relocated to Brooks I got to see my Randy, Leisha, and Molly! I got to spend Thursday night spending time with them which is always fun! I got to see adorable molly who for some reason ever since she was a puppy has loved my hair I don’t know if it’s the blonde color or what but the first thing she does when she sees me is attack my head and hair. It also might be the squeaking and screaming noises I make while she is attacking my hair. It was another fun week on the road. Moving mid week made for a crazy week but it is good that we did because we were able to help out more kids then we would have if we would have stayed in Corvallis. Here is a link to the Tooth Taxi web site so you can see it, read more details about it, and even see the schedule if you want to know where we are going the next few months.

Some quotes from the road over the past few weeks:
  • Teacher who came to visit said: “This is a Privilege!”
  • Patient exclaimed: “This is the nicest RV I’ve ever seen!”
  • Gym teacher came to visit the Tooth Taxi as a student showed him his tooth that had
  • been pulled. The student told the gym teacher how great the laughing gas was.
  • James about to do his classroom presentation on oral hygiene had a student ask “if he was going to tell them how to get big muscles.”
  • 2nd grader during screening: “All the teeth that are blank are lost, I’m growing them in.”
  • Patient: “I can’t believe you turned my teeth into silver, that’s awesome!”
  • Patient: “Am I going to get another cap?” Dr. Heringer: “I think so.” Patient: “Oh cool! Can I have a gold one this time?”

Next week is Cottage Grove!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

God is Good!

For the past two month now I have been interviewing for an amazing job and I found out on January 28 that I got!! Talk about the best news of the year! I am working for ODS (Oregon dental services) working on what is called the Smile Taxi. It is a mobile dental unit that travels around the state of Oregon providing free dental care to underprivileged children. We go to elementary schools around the state and spend a week in each place. They look for schools where 80% of children are on the free lunch program and also towns that are far away from dentists. This week was my first week on the job and we were in Cloverdale. It is a small town outside of Pacific City towards the coast. The first day we are in a town we screen the kids which means that the doctor does a basic oral evaluation to see how much decay is in a patient’s mouth and classifies them from 0-4. Zero meaning they just need a cleaning and four meaning they have extreme decay on multiple teeth. We treat the students that are classified at a 3 or 4. We saw a lot of extreme cases this week. Some kids were in 7th grade and had never seen a dentist before. Most kid’s treatments include extractions, crowns, and a few fillings. We unfortunately had to pull some permanent teeth this week which we do not like to do because it is crucial for people to hang onto their teeth as long as possible. But most of the teeth we pulled there was nothing left of it. Just roots and no crown. The kids are so thankful to us for helping them even when we do pull their teeth because it’s teeth that have been hurting them for years and they finally won’t be in pain any more. We had one kid this week that had to get a silver crown on a primary tooth and he thought it was so cool! He wanted to get more and gold ones too!  It is true kids say the funniest things. We almost made it all week without a kid throwing up on us but of course that last patient did! Oh so gross! The little disadvantages of the job...good thing the advantages outweigh it! Everyone in the community is so thankful for us being there and helping out children in the community. I was nervous about this job because as most of you know I’m not a huge kid person but I’ve been loving it. It is such a rewarding job and I feel so blessed to be doing it. I love my career and I love going to work every day. I also get to travel every week with this job which you all know that I love! I have a hard time staying in one place too long so this is kind of perfect for me I get to travel Monday through Friday and still be home on the weekends. It’s great to have a job and I see now why God had me wait so long for a job because this job fits me perfectly and for me is so much more than just a job! God once again proves that I just need to trust Him and His plan for my life. I never would have thought I would be able to find a traveling dental job or that I would have worked in Alaska last summer. Both have been such amazing experiences and I’m so thrilled for this new chapter in my life. I’m going to update my blog weekly so you can hear all the fun experiences I have on the road. Thank you everyone for your support over the years!