OHP Success Story – Winter 2023

Tracy, age 51, suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, dementia, and anxiety, all of which make seeking dental care in an traditional office capacity a challenge. Tracy was recently referred to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) for mobile dentistry services.

Lori Killen Aus, ENDS Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist (EPDH) scheduled an appointment with Tracy and noted that though she was composed, Tracy was still feeling nervous as she had her hands folded and was repeating a phrase to herself over and over. Lori truly enjoys the process of helping new patients feel comfortable so she carefully explained her process and made light conversation with Tracy including commenting on how pretty Tracy’s nails were.

Lori Killen Aus, EPDH

However, the real breakthrough happened when Lori was about to begin preventative treatment, she noticed Tracy signing to her. Lori paused during the process of setting up her instruments and signed Tracy’s name back to her using the American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet. Tracy’s face lit up and her anxiety melted away. It was a small moment, but one that made all the difference. Now that she was confident she would be understood, Tracy successfully had her teeth cleaned, and continues to be cared for by the Dentists and Hygienists in the ENDS program.

ENDS Program partners with three Oregon Dental Care Organizations:

  • Capitol Dental Care
  • CareOregon Dental
  • Willamette Dental

The ENDS Program connects Tracy and other patients with providers like Lori 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.