Trips to the dentist are not really looked forward to. Some see it as a terrible time. Treating handicapped people is a big challenge for dentists.

How do you let a mentally retarded person know that the dentist and his instruments are there to relieve him of his toothache?

How can a dentist deal with a palsied or spastic person who can’t hold his head still long enough to be treated? How does a person confined to a wheel chair get to a dentist located in a clinic or building not equipped to handle wheel chairs? How can a dentist spend twice as much time on a handicapped patient when his waiting room is crowded with other patients and his appointment book is filled months in advance?

A masonic organization started to provide funding for handicapped people to have quality dental treatment. The dental facility opens its doors to handicapped people of all types and ages from the United States and Canada. None of the handicapped will have to spend their own money. If the patient is eligible for public assistance or has insurance coverage, this method of payment will be used.

If a situation arises in which funds cannot be accessed, the cost is paid for by the foundation of the organization. Expenses such as hospitalization, fare, lodging, and dental treatment would be covered by them. The cost for every patient is between $350 to $550, exclusive of air travel.

The patient is given general anesthesia before dental work is done to him or her. The patient is at the hospital a day in advance because of medical and dental evaluation. Before the patient arrives, the center already knows about his handicap condition, his medical history, and his dental needs.

Family members stay in adjoining rooms just in case the patients need them. The average stay in the hospital has been three and a half days. Out patient care may be given even if most cases are taken care of in the hospital. Follow up care and further work is also provided.

General anesthesia is given to patients who are physically and mentally handicapped. The dental equipment recently purchased is designed to give increase comfort for treatment. The dentist and his assistant will be able to sit while working thanks to the new dental chairs.

Dentists who are patient are needed for handicapped patients. Communication barriers and misunderstanding may be a hindrance. Society and environment are important factors to consider also. The college of dentistry at the local university operates alongside with the program in helping handicaps. This will prepare future dentists for the rigorous responsibilities of treating handicaps.

Trained dentists will be recorded by the sponsoring organization for any future treatments. The center receives request for dental care and then refers the patient for sponsorship. We’ve been getting along well with the families of the patients. They’re pleased to know that the care is now here.

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