OHP Success Story – Winter 2022

Tami, age 65, suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, dementia, and is non-verbal. She and her husband were born and raised in Portland, Oregon. When Tami and her husband were first married, they became foster care parents and, over a period of 35 years, they fostered over 300 children and adopted ten of them!

A short while back, Tami began experiencing severe tooth pain and had not eaten solid food in over three weeks. Due to her medical conditions, she is unable to be seen in a traditional dental clinic but, fortunately, Tami was referred to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) which specializes in mobile dentistry.

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

After learning of the pain Tami had been enduring, Dr. Brian Koch, an ENDS mobile dentist, made an emergency house call at the end of his day. Dr. Koch determined that Tami’s condition meant that she could not tolerate an exam or dental treatment even at her residence. Because of this, treatment was coordinated with another ENDS provider so that Tami could be seen in the hospital under general anesthesia.

Following treating, Tami’s husband reported that she is pain free now and eating normally again. He happily told one of ENDS staff, “ She has color back in her face!” The ENDS Program connects Tami and other patients with providers like Dr. Koch thanks to the dental care benefits made possible by Oregon Health Plan (OHP). The care and compassion delivered by ENDS’ providers, along with the dental benefits provided by OHP, ensure patients receive the treatment they need to continue living a happy and healthy life.