Carestream Dental Provides RVG Sensors for Dentistry from Our Hearts Event

At Forest Dental Care, located in Lynchburg, Va., community service is ingrained into the practice philosophy. Since 2006, the entire team—which now includes four doctors, 10 hygienists, one office manager, 12 business employees and six assistants—has come together each year to provide free dental care to members of their community.

“We began by partnering with Dentistry from the Heart, a nationwide organization that organizes non-profit events,” said Amy DiGregorio, dental hygienist at Forest Dental Care. “In 2014, we decided to spin off the event into our own non-profit event—and Dentistry from Our Hearts was created.”

This year’s event—held Sept. 12, 2015—saw more than 200 patients walk through the door for dental care. While many non-profit dentistry events have financial requirements for patients, Dentistry from Our Hearts welcomes everyone, from the insured and under-insured to those with no insurance at all. To streamline the process, cleaning, fillings and extractions are the three services offered that day. Dentistry from Our Hearts also partnered with five local oral surgeons to provide care.

Technology has played a critical role in the event’s workflow. In the past, film was used to capture patient images; however, the team started using digital sensors in 2014. At first, there were not enough sensors to triage patients. This year, Carestream Dental provided four RVG sensors for imaging to expedite the triage process.

“We started at 5 a.m. this year and were able to triage all 200 patients in approximately three hours,” said DiGregorio. “We were just blown away by how quickly it went. It helps when planning next year’s event to know that we can see even more patients thanks to the speed of triaging.”

Planning a non-profit event of this scale takes work—in fact, DiGregorio said that she started planning for 2016 the day after this year’s event ended.

“All supplies—from food to practice equipment—were donated by corporate sponsors,” said DiGregorio. “It can take time to work with companies to ensure we have everything to meet the patients’ needs.”

Practices interested in performing their own non-profit dentistry could benefit from Forest Dental Care’s example. DiGregorio said that the most important thing is that dedication to community service needs to come from leadership. Doctors should tell their team that this is the standard of what the practice will commit to, and that each member of the team must participate.

In addition, DiGregorio recommends starting small. Forest Dental Care began by targeting a local afterschool program to offer oral healthcare and then built on that momentum. After seeing the value of their contributions, they progressed to the Dentistry from Our Hearts event.

The event has become important not just to the practice staff, but to the community as well.

“What stands out to me is that we have patients come back year after year, so they will eventually get their dental matters fixed,” said DiGregorio, “It definitely made me see what a need there is in our community for care, especially for those who have no other options for dentistry.”

Carestream Dental Newsroom


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