ROGERSVILLE — The Brentwood Dental Unit set up at The Shepherd’s Center this past weekend, pulling a record 343 teeth during a two day stay.
Dr. Greg Boston, from Sparta First Baptist Church, stated he has done dental mission work across America and around the world and he finds people suffer from the greatest dental needs right here in Hawkins and Hancock Counties than anywhere he’s ever worked.
Boston’s observation shines a light on some of the great disparities in healthcare in America.
Mickey Wilcox, Mission Team Director for Of One Accord Ministry, is the person who takes names for future dental clinics and who personally knows many that are on the list.
Wilcox said that one of the men who was a patient over the weekend had his remaining 28 teeth pulled on Saturday. This man woke up every day of his life for the last few years in extreme pain due to his teeth.
There are currently no programs in Hawkins County that address these great needs, nor is there anything that offers services on a sliding scale basis.
Wilcox stated this one resident suffered heart problems and had contracted some internal infections just because of problems with his teeth.
Brentwood Baptist designed and had their mobile dental unit built in 2013. It has two medical or dental exam tables to make it multi-purpose, and Gary Maddox, who drives and cares for the unit, says different churches provide teams that keep the unit on the road two to three weekends a month.
The recent team that visited Rogersville were from Sparta First Baptist Church. This team brought with them three dentists to pull teeth and one dental hygienist to clean teeth. A total of 343 teeth were pulled and 21 patients had teeth cleaned.
The team of 23 volunteers made sure that every patient received first-class treatment.
Over the weekend, volunteers were even needed to go with more than one patient, “just to hold their hands”.
Maddox quipped, “Yes that’s right. We want them to feel the love of Jesus who is with us in good times and bad, on good days and times when we experience pain.”
Of One Accord Ministry is thrilled to offer dental services to local residents who constantly fight this pain and want to let local residents who are in need of dental care to know that the unit will be back in October.