Tooth Taxi’s visit a success
December 12, 2014
FINN ROCK: The Tooth Taxi makes history every day. Last month the converted motor home’s trip to McKenzie Schools added to its lore. Those visits, on November 22nd and 23rd, amounted to over 8,000 screenings and 4.5 million dollars in donated services since the dental van’s inception in 2008.
Inside the 38-foot shell is a high-tech dental office with two fully-equipped operation units that include digital X-rays. With a full-time dentist and staff, the Tooth Taxi visits schools throughout Oregon to treat uninsured and under served children who have limited access to dental care. The Tooth Taxi can stay at a school for up to a week at a time, providing comprehensive and preventive care to children.
Linda Schaefers, of the McKenzie River Clinic, requested a visit in 2013, and the school district was ready to jump on board. School nurse Kim Burwell did all the hard work of getting families to turn in the paperwork needed before students could be seen, and coordinating the on-site visit with scheduling and lining up volunteers to help the TT staff. They operated on a very tight schedule, and as Kim said, “they could not have seen one more student” in the time they had, and worked right up until 5 minutes before the TT van was scheduled to leave.
TT staff member Catherine Johnson delivered her winning oral hygiene presentation to all K-5 grades; 94 students were educated about brushing and flossing. 17 students were screened, 15 students had appointments in the van totaling over $9,000 in donated dental services. Tooth Taxi dental assistant Catherine Johnson delivered oral hygiene presentations to all students in K-5.
The Tooth Taxi is the result of a unique partnership with OEA Choice Trust, ODS and The Dental Foundation of Oregon, which is the charitable arm of the Oregon Dental Association. It is funded by many of Oregon’s leading foundations, corporations and individuals who care deeply about children’s oral health. As a result of this visit, the Tooth Taxi will keep the McKenzie site as an option for a return visit.
Image above: Dr. Dave Carneiro and Becca Jordan with one of the students who was attended to in the mobile dental office that visited the campus of McKenzie Schools.
McKenzie River Reflections