October 4, 2017
An ounce of prevention…
Good dental health leads to improved overall health
By MARC STEWART
Thomas Olson's bad teeth might have killed him one day.
The North Idaho man had multiple abscesses in his mouth that posed long-term health risks, so he recently had all of his teeth pulled by the staff at Heritage Health Dental Clinic.
"Heritage Health did a tremendous job for me," said Olson. "Believe it or not, they made the experience joyful for me. Their staff was amazing."
"While full extractions are relatively rare, dental infections can spread to the heart, lungs, and brain with potentially fatal consequences", said Kami Davis, Heritage Health Dental Clinic Director.
"Good oral health goes right alongside good nutrition," said Davis. "While good oral hygiene is only a part of the big picture of good overall health, it is crucial."
Heritage Health Dental offers a wide range of services, including routine cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns, and extractions. The services provided by Heritage Health Dental mirror those offered in most private dental offices.
"The majority of Heritage Health patients have dental needs," said Davis. "Preventative dental care is important because it's much more affordable to prevent problems before they occur."
The Heritage Health Dental Clinic serves about 1,100 patients every month, said Bill Davenport, Vice President of Medical and Dental operations.
"Our dental program is extremely busy," said Davenport. " There is no shortage of patients and we're working to take care of them."
Davenport said Heritage Health serves a wide array of people, including low-income individuals and families.
"We offer a full range of services," said Davenport. "And we have a sliding scale option, so we can see patients of all income levels."
Many people avoid going to the dentist - at their own peril.
"Fear is a big reason," said Davenport. "They perceive a risk that if they come in, a problem will be found. So they put it off. Many times, delaying treatment ends up being more costly and takes more time."
Davis added: "Issues with dental health start small and quickly grow into something bigger. We want to see people sooner. We would rather clean teeth now than have to extract them at a later date."
Olson said he feels so much better now that his teeth are gone. He noted that Heritage Health even helped him find another local dentist who could install dentures for him.
"I can tell my health improved after I had these teeth pulled," he said. "It was really painless for me and I am so glad I got it done. I can't say enough great things about Heritage Health."