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

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