Bringing Access to Care to the City of Lancaster

In June of 2017, Lancaster Pediatric Dentistry partnered with SmileMD for their first case day. At the time, they had a long backlog of patients waiting to be seen for simple dental surgeries. This was frustrating for the dentist, Dr. Jonathon Draney, who had the patients, the office, and the skills, he just needed anesthesia services. 

Before partnering with SmileMD, Lancaster was seeing roughly 3 patients a week, at most, due to the strict start and end times at the hospital. Since then, they have been able to provide care for over one hundred patients each month. They have doubled the size of their office and have changed wait times from multiple months to mere weeks. “Patients were waiting two to three months and in specific cases, up to six months to be seen. But that is just not an issue anymore,” said Dr. Draney. 

Natalie is the main point of contact for scheduling patients at Lancaster, and she loves how much the partnership between Lancaster Pediatric Dentistry and SmileMD benefits the community. “Working with SmileMD allows us to see hundreds more patients than we would be able to if we were working with a facility,” Natalie said, “It’s great to be able to take care of so many kids and help these families in our community.” 

SmileMD’s care teams of anesthesiologists, paramedics, and nurses fit right in with the office and act as a seamless extension of the dental staff. Natalie is always so impressed with how well our care teams work with the parents, who are often more nervous than their children about the procedure. Natalie loves that our teams go above and beyond with the parents to make sure they are comfortable and reassured. 

“Kids are living in pain and with infections, but they are now able to be seen much faster because of SmileMD. This is huge for these kids and their families,” Natalie said. “Every dentist office should be using SmileMD to see patients in a timelier manner and improve the lives of the patients in your community.” 

Changing Lives in Kentucky

Susan is the mother of 25-year-old Trevor, a recent SmileMD patient who has a very severe case of Autism.  She has been looking far and wide for someone to help take care of her son’s teeth. She traveled out of state, paid thousands of dollars, made dozens of phone calls, and was still unable to find a dentist that could provide Trevor’s dental care. 

At a typical dentist’s office, Trevor wouldn’t cooperate and would flail as soon as he saw anything sharp going towards his mouth. Hospitals would cause a lot of extra anxiety for Trevor, as he would be out of his element.  In addition, the hospital costs were too high for Susan to afford to have regular treatment done. They even tried local anesthesia with another dentist, which led to Trevor eating off his own lip, which Susan still can’t believe grew back. 

When Trevor was a kid, Susan would take him to Children’s hospital, and they would do everything, but as an adult, it isn’t that way. “The adult disabled population is a forgotten group,” Susan said.  “When Trevor turned 21, he was left behind. Many adult disabled people end up losing their teeth, but I’m not going to let that happen to my son.” 

After an extensive search to find a dentist, Susan found a SmileMD partner office and had Trevor’s case scheduled. SmileMD uses general anesthesia, which allows the dentist to take their time with the patient and make sure that everything is healthy, and no issue is missed. “The whole team was so amazing and so patient and empathetic. They fixed things that other dentists missed because they never have enough time.” 

Adult special needs patients need better access to high quality, affordable healthcare. Bringing a SmileMD care team into the office is a solution. “For as much time as they spent with him, the cost is more than worth it. He didn’t know anything was different than just going to the dentist. He was a little groggy afterwards, but he had a normal day after a few hours.” 

Trevor needs to have a deep clean like this every year or two and Susan now has one less thing she has to worry about: her son’s dental care. 

“Thank you to Dr Guthrie and the whole team for helping my son’s health and his teeth. It’s inhumane to not have dental care like this for these patients. This isn’t just a business, it’s a human need.”