We work five days a week from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. During the school year we primarily see students, but fit in community patients before and after school. During school breaks we focus on families and community members. Obviously we provide care for West High and Dater students, but we also bus in elementary school age students that attend feeder schools to West High and Dater. That way we are treating and educating the next generation of students that will be entering the schools where our clinic is located. We provide a full range of general dentistry services, including root canals, crowns, dentures and partials. While our main focus is to educate and ensure the health of our patients, we have found that many kids are deeply affected by the appearance of their teeth. As the kids say, “ugly teeth” are cause for ridicule, bullying, name calling and more. After patients complete their treatment to make their mouths as healthy as possible we often provide esthetics treatments such as bonding front teeth, reshaping front teeth, replacing missing teeth, or any other treatment that will improve their smile, that is within our means. This has given us the opportunity to see pure happiness from so many students who have been living in shame of their smile. It is such a fun and exciting place to work. We all feel very fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful service to the students and community members!!
A student had broken her front tooth in 5th grade. She said she has asked her mom to get it fixed, but mom didn’t know where to take her. Other kids made fun of her “broke” smile, so she would cover her mouth with her hand. She was so happy to get it fixed after 3 years of having a broken tooth!
A young man fractured his tooth around age 8 or 9. At such a young age the tooth was still developing and has never gotten the chance to fully form its root. This made the nerve of the tooth die and he had a chronic infection in the root all the way up into the surrounding bone. He had been living with the infection and pain so long that he didn’t even realize how bad it was for him. He was more concerned that the tooth was broken and grey looking. We were able to do a root canal to clear the infection, bleach the tooth from inside to remove the discoloration and place a restoration to re-shape the tooth. He was so happy to have it fixed after such a long time, he told us his mom never had the time or money to get it fixed for him.
This kid came to Elm St from Taft. We are walking kids from Taft HS twice a month. He has been missing one of his front tooth since childhood. He is now 17yo. The dental clinic staff made a flipper for him. He is thrilled, his Dad is thrilled and his step mother is thrilled. He said they said ” We never thought you would get back a normal smile….it looks great.” He is very proud and thankful for his new tooth.
Angel- she had her front tooth broken when she was in 3rd grade. She had asked her mom all the time if she could get her tooth fixed but her mom didn’t have the money or know where to take her. She came down to the clinic at school and we were able to fix it for her, she is now in 8th grade. She was so happy to “be able to smile big again!”
This high school boy lost his front tooth playing sports around the neighborhood. He told us he lost the tooth about 4 years ago, but no one has been able to help him. He asked his grandma, but she didn’t have the money to get it fixed for him. He told us how it was embarrassing for him to be missing his front tooth, and he felt like people didn’t look at him nicely. You could see the happiness in his eyes after we fixed it for him!
A high school girl came down to see us from class one day after seeing that we made her friend’s teeth look prettier. She had been in an accident when she was young and it disrupted the growth of her three front permanent teeth, causing them to come in twisted and in the wrong positions. She told us how she hated the way her teeth looked, she never wanted to smile or even talk to people because all they did was look at her teeth.
Many of the students tell us about how other kids make fun of them, we even had a boy whose brother made fun of him because his teeth were “crooked.” Thankfully we were able to improve his appearance with some simple reshaping and bonding.
Staff: Kim Oberlander DMD, MPH, Akino Kishigawa RDH, EFDA, Annie Raines EFDA, Toni Goerner CDA, Joanna Streicher Front Office Coordinator, Debbie Sizemore DA, Kayla Klingenbeck DA.