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Some people believe that all dentists are arseholes who enjoy smiling ear to ear while you struggle with the drilling they've subjected you to. Those people haven't met Dr. Edwin Smith.
Edwin, unlike some sadistic dentists, really cares about raising awareness of the importance of dental care.
In a bid to make treatment more available to the kids of Appalachia in Kentucky, US, he decided to convert a trailer into a dental clinic and set it on the road.
After witnessing rampant tooth decay among many of the local citizens, he thought it was time to do something about it. "I saw a lot of patients who hadn't seen a dentist before," said Edwin.
He had come across some worrying dental problems in the area in the past. One patient had actually tried to superglue their teeth back on to their gums, while another had extracted their own teeth with pliers.
So that the kids of Appalachia don't grow up to make the same mistakes, Edwin decided to put some measures in place.
Appalachia has one of the worst dental health problems in the nation and Kentucky has the third highest rate of tooth loss, CNN reports. "The number one issue is education," explained Edwin. "When I first started practicing, I would see babies being fed bottles filled with sugary drinks. Also, many people can't afford to get treatment done, and many of these families don't have the transportation that they need to access it."
Once the trailer had been converted, the small and dedicated team travelled to schools so that kids had access to preventative dental care. As the number of patients he saw grew, rapid demand followed. "In a couple years, we had school districts all around Kentucky asking us to come and see their students," said Smith.
The service offers free check-ups. That includes a thorough dental exam, their teeth being cleaned and X-rays taken. If needed, the mobile clinic is designed for dentists to do sealants on permanent molars that don't show signs of decay.
However, due to the lack of facilities available in the converted trailer, it's not designed for extractions and restorative work. Should this scenario occur, Edwin will compile a treatment plan instead. The follow-up treatment will then be provided at his private practice.
Since opening, the non-profit Kids First Dental Services has treated more than 43,000 children throughout the state.
I wish my dentist was that nice. All I get is: "Oh, another filling Mr Kilburn - this is getting expensive for you..." ArrgHH, robbing bastard!
Featured image credit: YouTube/CNN
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