A special patient

I wanted to write and let you know about a very special and wonderful patient of ours named Joey Sparks. His mother, Josie Duncan, is seen in the photo helping to support Joey`s head while he gets his teeth cleaned.

May 1st, 2000

Dear RDH:

I wanted to write and let you know about a very special and wonderful patient of ours named Joey Sparks. His mother, Josie Duncan, is seen in the photo helping to support Joey`s head while he gets his teeth cleaned.

After unsuccessfully finding an adequate office or professionals to meet Joey`s specific dental needs, Josie found herself in our dental office. She explained that previous experiences resulted in Joey being rushed through treatment and people telling her their staff wasn`t comfortable working with "special needs" patients.

We allowed one hour for Joey`s visit - adequate time to clean his teeth and also for him to receive several hugs from his Mom when treatment became a little tiring. Joey takes medication which causes enlarged gingiva and moderate plaque buildup on his teeth. By using a special bite block and having his Mom close by, gently holding Joey, we are able to adequately clean his teeth and help him maintain good oral health. Presently, we have Joey on a three-month recall.

Not only are we meeting Joey`s needs, but, in return, he has touched all of our hearts. His winning smile constantly reminds us of everyone`s right to receive proper dental care.

A little patience has caused this patient to blossom. Little by little, Joey is realizing we are his friends, and we are here to help him in any way we can.

Joanne M. Pasunza, RDH

Brighton, Michigan

Editor`s note: Ms. Pasunza`s letter made our day. In a postscript, she indicated that she is the mother of a 20-year-old handicapped son. She is employed in the office of Drs. Charlick and Springstead in Brighton. The address is 5710 Whitmore Lake Road, Brighton, MI 48116.

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