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Devin Hohl’s story is one shared by Special Olympics athletes everywhere. She suffered from a chronic infection in her mouth, requiring a root canal and crown, but lost her dental insurance when she turned 21 and had been unable to find a dentist willing to work with people with disabilities. At the dental college at A.T. Still University in Arizona, however, faculty and students working with the Special Olympics Special Smiles program welcomed her on December 9 and provided the needed care. As part of the event, volunteers devoted their time and efforts to perform a multitude of dental care procedures to athletes in need – all free of charge. The services provided to Devin would normally cost $2500.

“It was inspiring to see the dental students, teachers, and mentors come together to relieve the athletes from the pain that has been bothering them,” said Isaac Sanft, Special Olympics Arizona’s healthy athletes coordinator.

Another athlete, Alex, had been having pain for several weeks, so much so that he had trouble sleeping and making it through the day without extreme pain. Like Devin, he could not find a dentist who would treat him, but thanks to Special Smiles, Dr. Sabah Kalamchi, an oral surgeon from Scottsdale, examined Alex and provided a tooth extraction, antibiotics, and a follow-up visit.

2 thoughts on “Dental Care Worth Thousands of Dollars Provided Free to Arizona Athletes

  1. Pingback: Dental Care Worth Thousands of Dollars Provided Free to Arizona Athletes | Oral Health Care for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

  2. This is a heartwarming story that is a motivator for every state dental community. It shows how to work with Special Olympics to create a plan that matches the state’s system of care. The plan not only ensures that athletes have oral screening at events but also preventive services and restorative treatments. A.T. Still dental students and faculty continue to demonstrate the school’s commitment to serving all in need.

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