Dental clinic filling more than cavities

Apr 23, 2018, 11:35 PM | Updated: Apr 24, 2018, 12:53 am

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – A large segment of Utah’s population simply can’t get adequate dental care, but a new program is changing that. A dental clinic in Pleasant Grove is making a difference.

Elise Goodrich can’t tell anyone when her teeth hurt.

“She’s very sweet-natured,” her mother, Sylvia Goodrich said.

Elise has a rare genetic mutation that affects brain development in girls.

“She doesn’t talk, but she’s aware and understands a lot,” Goodrich said.

Finding a dentist was nearly impossible before. Elise requires general anesthesia for dental work. The new Featherstone Ridge Dental Clinic specializes in treating patients like Elise.

Byron Woodland, a dentist with the Featherstone Ridge Dental Clinic in American Fork, has a passion for helping people with disabilities. A new program is helping under-served people get the dental care they need.

Byron Woodland, a dentist with the Featherstone Ridge Dental Clinic, said, “It’s a population that’s really, really underserved in Utah.”

Almost 9,000 people with disabilities in the state are seeking or receiving help through the Utah Department of Human Services.

“They’re nonverbal. They can’t tell you about it. They can’t tell you what’s going on. So it’s a service that’s really, really needed,” Woodland said.

Woodland is passionate about helping people with intellectual disabilities.

“Some of them can be challenging. But some of them, they’re just very loving, and a lot of them have just a kindness about them,” he said.

For Goodrich, it’s a relief.

“You want your child to be healthy, and happy and comfortable. You don’t want them to be screaming and afraid,” she said. “When she came out, her teeth were just beautiful. I was really pleased with everything about it.”

With a nurse and dentist experienced with working with patients who have special needs, the service is priceless.

Dentists at the clinic do everything from basic examinations to oral surgery. It’s free to those who qualify.

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Dental clinic filling more than cavities