Oklahoma Donated Dental Services bringing smiles to eastern Oklahoma

Tuesday, September 28th 2004, 11:14 am
By: News On 6

A trip to the dentist is not something most of us look forward to, but for Emily Stacey, a dental appointment is something she longed for, but couldn't get until Tuesday.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells went with her to the dentist and her appointment for a new smile. Emily Stacey is on the way to the dentist, it's a little less than a mile away through the neighborhood by sidewalk.

The motorized wheelchair is the only ride she's got. The big van sitting back in the driveway is wheelchair equipped, but it doesn't run and she can't afford to get it fixed. So the wheelchair doubles as a car.

Dental care is something else she couldn't afford, over the years her teeth had gotten so bad, all but one had broken off at the gum line. She tried, but social service agencies couldn't provide the help she needed. "I really kind of gave up hope. I figured this was just the way it was gonna be for me."

Then on one of the "on call" segments on the News on 6 at Noon she heard about Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services. They got her an appointment with Dr Steven Hogg in Broken Arrow and she was excited. "Can't quit smiling."

First, a round of panoramic X-rays, then Dr Hogg did a complete exam. He's one of about 200 dentists in northeast Oklahoma who donate services. There are also donations from groups like the Zarrow Foundation and others. "We'll have the roots that remain extracted she'll have some dentures made, give her something to chew with again and get that smile back again."

Emily: "I don't have to be embarrassed to smile and say hi to people, once I get the teeth." From hopeless to hopeful, in about 30 minutes. Emily Stacey is on her way to a big new smile and after that, who knows. The process of getting her dentures will take about five weeks.

If you or someone you know might qualify for donated dental care contact Eastern Oklahoma donated Dental Services at 918-595-4151.