G was a resident of the YWCA WIND program who was in recovery from drugs and was rebuilding her life. She came to the clinic as a new patient, and as many people who are in recovery from substance abuse do, needed significant health care – and oral health care. She had lost nearly all of her teeth from the methadone use, and the teeth remaining needed to be extracted. She then needed to heal and be fitted for dentures.
Relevant background/side note: YWCA regularly send residents to Wheeling Health Right for treatment and we are always grateful for the referral and the positive partnership that results from working with this sister United Way agency. YWCA programs focus on job rehabilitation as just one aspect of recovery and reentry into productive society. They have recently held several fundraisers to help their residents who need dentures pay the nominal $500 fee. Wheeling Health Right finds it necessary to pay the labs that make our dentures. (We pay and charge materials fees only. This is to provide a sense of pride of ownership and care for the dentures. Many of our patients make payments on their dentures until paid off.)
During the course of G’s extensive treatment, she showed significant interest in the dental clinic operations. She expressed a desire to learn how to act as a dental assistant. Our dental staff is certified at a level that they can teach students who are interested in becoming a “chair-side dental assistant.” Which in essence, acts as an assistant to the assistant or hygienist by helping with instrumentation, sterilization and supplies inventory. They offered G a position to train under them and she accepted, performing so well and consistently, that she was qualified to be hired at a local dentist’s office. Upon receipt and adjustment of her new dentures, she began her new career and has been enjoying her new lease on life since October 2019.
-Wheeling Health Right