For a woman suffering from a severe infection of her lower jaw in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, last Wednesday's emergency dental clinic hosted by Medical Teams International was a godsend.
It's when the woman drove up to Rolling Hills Church, was triaged by medical personnel and determined to be a person truly in need of quick dental care. During the visit, she opted to have one of the two problem teeth pulled on the spot.
"She was really pleased to be seen (by our personnel) … getting some care," said Carmen Miller, communications officer for Medical Teams International.
By the time the day was over, the Tigard-based nonprofit had helped out four individuals, all who were badly in need of immediate dental care provided inside the organization's distinctive red mobile van, which is as fully equipped as any dentist office.
While Medical Teams International many times offers services for low-income or homeless individuals, the COVID-19 pandemic has the organization offering services to those who aren't able to see a dentist.
"Right now, it's anyone who needs help and can't get into their regular office," Miller said.
Both a doctor and paramedic screened patients as they entered the facility to test for those who might have COVID-19.
Another patient treated during Wednesday's clinic was a man who had the first portion of a root canal completed but was awaiting the second part of the procedure and was suffering from some "bad facial swelling."
Miller said the man first visited a local hospital emergency room to receive antibiotics and later a dentist from Medical Teams International was able to drain the infected site.
The organization will host 13 emergency dental clinics this week alone including another one set for Tuesday, April 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rolling Hills Church.
"We're so glad we can help right now," said Miller.
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