mvenus929 (mvenus929) wrote,
mvenus929
mvenus929

Bad Teeth

Dental: Friday, July 22nd

One of the biggest sections of RAM is the dental section. Why? Because while some people are able to get health care, dental services are much more difficult to come by, largely because they're fee-for-service. There are very few people with access to dental insurance.

Similarly, there are very few people who take care of their teeth. I was stationed at the front of the line for dental extractions, and there were 50-60 people waiting in line for the whole two hours that I was standing there on Friday. A good 30+ were brought back during that time to have their teeth pulled.

In contrast, when I went over to the line for 'cleanings', there were all of 13 people waiting there.

We had been told before we went that 'meth mouth' was a problem down there (google it if you dare!), so I went down suspecting that there would be issues in that department. Still, sometimes these things just don't hit until after you see them. One guy I saw was fairly young... maybe late 20s, and the whole top row of his teeth were decayed.

My role in the dental area was rather dull; I checked over their paperwork as they got to the front of the line and made sure that their preliminary blood glucose and blood pressure were low enough to be candidates for extraction. If not, I had to recheck them. I must have gotten a really nice bunch, though, because I didn't have to recheck anyone. One of the nurses that was with me did have to send a few people to urgent care to get their blood pressures or blood glucose down, but not I. I also gave them an 800 mg tablet of ibuprofen to reduce the pain and swelling after the procedure (assuming they didn't have an ulcer or kidney problems).

During the last portion of my shift, I went with one of my classmates over to where they were actually doing extractions, and we spoke with a peridontic resident who was just finishing up stitching up a guy's mouth from the multiple teeth he had pulled. I don't think the guy had a tooth left in his mouth.

The worst part is that these people can't get dentures right away, because their gums still have to heal up, and they'll shrink as they heal. If they were fitted for dentures immediately, they would have loose dentures in a couple months. So, these people have to go without teeth most likely for at least a year, until RAM next year comes around, if they're lucky enough to get on the waitlist.
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