Overcoming Disability Through Oral Health Care
A graduating DDS student approached me at the end of my second year to see if I was willing to take on a case. The patient was described as complex. I asked for the patient’s phone number to schedule an appointment but was told the patient had just checked in. Ten minutes later I would meet one of the most influential patients during my time at Dugoni.
The patient has a hearing disability and is mute. He was accompanied by his elderly mother who would translate for him. When I began asking questions about the patient’s health history, I learned that the mother only spoke Spanish (I do not speak Spanish). Over the next year I would learn how to communicate, educate, and ultimately empower this patient. The case includes, diagnostic, perio, direct-restorative, oral surgery, oral pathology, and removable prosthetics.
Author: Kyle A. Schwartz, DDS ’22
Mentors: Dr. Michael Thomas, Dr. Gary Grill, Dr. Ned Nix, Dr. Craig Dunlap, Dr. Rene Bagus, Dr. Navid Knight, Dr. Chi Tran, Dr. Gretchen Bruce, Dr. Fatima Mashkoor, Dr. Rex Hoover, Dr. Tamer Alpagot, Dr. Daniel Castana, Dr. Burt Masangkay, Dr. Scott Dexter, Dr. Sandy Bocks, and California Dental Arts Lab
OKU Supportive Therapies Award