Community Success Stories She’s All Smiles

Betty worked a full-time job most of her adult life until she got ill with major gastrointestinal issues. She eventually found herself on permanent disability support and without health insurance.  She found Wheeling Health Right and registered as a primary care patient for help with her prescriptions and general health management.

Due to her stomach issues and lack of dental care for more than 20 years, Betty developed multiple dental problems.  These were compounded when she broke her front tooth. She had heard that Wheeling Health Right had opened the new dental clinic and made an appointment as soon as she could.

Hiding her mouth behind her hand as she spoke, she shared stories of all the life experiences she had missed due to her embarrassment of her poor oral health. We reconstructed her tooth on the spot and restored the rest of her teeth. She confidently went to a family wedding – which she had intended to skip – sporting her new smile. This was the first social event she had attended in years due to her embarrassment about her poor oral health.

“I love to smile again. This has changed my life in every way you can imagine,” Betty said. “It’s improved my marriage because I would refuse to go out with my husband and I lacked so much confidence. My husband is so proud of me, my outlook, my smile and my new enthusiasm for life.”

That wasn’t the end of Betty’s journey to oral health here at Wheeling Health Right. Over the past two years, she’s had several root canals, crowns, extractions, fillings and now has a partial denture thanks to our partnership with the WVU School of Dentistry’s endodontic, prosthodontic and oral surgery residents who visit the clinic on a regular basis. She is the first patient to be declared “Finished” with all dental care and be placed on the “Maintenance” category. This means she will now be seen for examinations and cleanings, having “graduated” from the dental clinic’s comprehensive reconstruction in August 2018. United Way funding directly supports the partnership with WVU and we are so grateful for both of these partnerships!

-Wheeling Health Right