HYANNIS–Proper dental care can be a challenge for people who use wheelchairs. Many patients feel vulnerable when removed from their wheelchairs, and transfer to a dental chair can be daunting for both patients and dental providers. Remaining seated in a wheelchair doesn’t allow for the reclined angle or stability necessary for many dental procedures.
All this was a big concern for dentist at Harbor Health Services who treated patients in wheelchairs, especially during oral surgery and other complex procedures. “It’s really best for a patient to be at a 180 degree angle for many procedures,” explains Dr. Danisel Gil. Often, he adds, even patients who are able to transfer to the standard dental chair do not have the muscle control necessary to maintain the proper position, resulting in a precarious and distressing situation.
Harbor Community Health Center-Hyannis is delighted to announce that many of those concerns are able to be addressed thanks to a new wheelchair tilt available at the organization’s Attuck’s Lane dental offices. Custom made, the tilt is a lift which permits the patient to remain seated, reclining both the patient and the wheelchair and allowing the dental provider to adjust the degree of tilt during treatment. The lift is safe and comfortable, and it allows patients to be receive the services they need. Also of primary importance is that it allows Harbor Health Services dental providers to maintain patients’ dignity while receiving services.
Patients and others who would like to learn more or to schedule an appointment may contact Harbor Health Services at 508 778-5440.
By: Jacqueline St. Pierre, DMD
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! It is important for all children to go to the dentist regularly, every six months, just like adults! Children need to start coming to the dentist around their first birthday. At this visit, parents can expect the dentist to look at the child’s teeth, clean them and apply fluoride. This visit is also important to educate the parents about how often to brush their children’s teeth (twice a day!), when to floss (every night!), and the importance of not going to bed with a bottle or cup of milk or juice. Your child should always go to bed with clean teeth!
In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist, fluoride can help keep your child’s teeth cavity free! Your child may be getting fluoride every day because it is added to many local water supplies, including the Boston area, but sadly it is lacking from many areas on the Cape. Fluoride is important because it helps make the teeth stronger to protect against the main causes of cavities. It can even reverse the beginning stages of cavities! When your child comes in for their cleaning, they will receive fluoride varnish painted onto their teeth. Fluoride varnish may even be applied when your child visits their pediatrician, particularly for their yearly physical exams! You should talk to your dentist about fluoride to determine if your child is getting enough on a regular basis. In order to make sure that the teeth are properly cleaned, you should continue to help brush your child’s teeth until about age 6. A good guide is that when your child is able to tie their own shoes, they are capable of brushing their own teeth. At this point, parents should still check to make sure the child has done a good job and that the teeth are clean and they may still need to assist with flossing. This is also around the age that your child can start to use an over-the-counter fluoride mouthwash and your dentist will let you know if they recommend this.
We look forward to seeing you and your child at their next visit to the dentist!
Join us for FREE children’s dental screenings in Dorchester and Plymouth!
February 4th: Free Children’s Dental Screenings, Dorchester
February 25th: Free Children’s Dental Screenings, Plymouth
Do you need help applying for health insurance? We are hosting a free health insurance enrollment fair at Cape Cod Community College on January 14th!
Open Enrollment is the annual time period when you can apply for health insurance. This year’s Open Enrollment Period is November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.
Here’s what you should bring to the event:
- Proof of Income: Two pay stubs for each job or letter from Unemployment, If Self Employed: most recent tax forms including Schedule C, Proof of rental income, Proof of Child Support or Alimony.
- Proof of Identity: Driver’s License, Massachusetts I.D., Military I.D., School I.D., Adoption Papers
- Proof of Citizenship or Immigration Status: Birth Certificate, Passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Green Card
- Social Security Number (If you have one)
Miss the enrollment deadline?
- You can enroll in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year.
- You may be eligible to apply with a Special Enrollment Period www.hhsi.us/aca for more information!
Saturday, December 24th: Neponset Health Center, Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, Harbor Community Health Center-Hyannis close at 3:00PM
Sunday, December 25th: All sites CLOSED
Monday, December 26th Neponset Health Center and Harbor Community Health Center Hyannis are OPEN; all other sites CLOSED
Saturday, December 31st: Neponset Health Center, Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, Harbor Community Health Center-Hyannis close at 3:00PM
Sunday, January 1st: Neponset Health Center and Harbor Community Health Center Hyannis are Open (holiday hours); all other sites CLOSED
Monday, January 2nd: Neponset Health Center and Harbor Community Health Center Hyannis are OPEN; all other sites CLOSED
“Everyone deserves to smile.” That’s the reason Dr. Juan Carlos Parra decided to practice dentistry.
Juan Carlos Parra comes from Bogota, Columbia and in 8th grade his smile was far from perfect. “It was a horrible smile. The panoramic x-ray of my teeth was pretty awful,” says Parra. After 3 years of orthodontic treatment, Juan Carlos knew what he wanted to do with his life: give people the perfect smile. Parra enrolled in Bosque University where he decided on oral surgery as his major. After completing his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, Dr. Parra worked at a hospital in Bogota before coming to the United States of America.
Having received his dental degree in a foreign country, Dr. Parra’s options for where he could practice dental medicine was limited. He decided to apply for a position with a community health center- and quickly found out it was a special office. “When I found out Geiger Gibson Community Health Center was the first health center in the country, I thought that was very cool”, Dr. Parra says. The quality of work, communication and the comradery at the health center are three things that stood out to Dr. Parra when applying for a position and those qualities still ring true today.
Dr. Parra thinks that the passion for dentistry that he and his colleagues share is just one reason that patients should visit Geiger Gibson Community Health Center. When asked what his number one oral health tip is he replies, “parents need to demonstrate good dental health care habits, like brushing and flossing, to their children.” Dr. Parra is an avid New England sports fan and the Boston Bruins are his favorite team. In his free time, he enjoys running and spending time with his wife and French Poodle.
To make an appointment with Dr. Parra at Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, please call 617-288-1140. Geiger Gibson Community Health Center offers walk-in medical services, optometry, and a retail pharmacy. The health center is accessible by public transportation (MBTA Red Line & Bus) and staff speak English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.