One rarely (or never!) thinks about seeing his or her dentist on a Sunday – the day usually set aside for church, family time, big dinners, football, and relaxing.
But there was an exception to that rule recently, when a group of dentists from Eastman Dental, part of UR Medicine’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health, visited Zion Hill Baptist Church to provide dental screenings.
The idea started a few years ago by Vera Graham, a dental assistant in Eastman Dental’s urgent care clinic and a parishioner at Zion, who was excited to integrate dental health into the church’s regularly sponsored educational events and screenings focusing on both healing and health. Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Richard Douglass, Pastor, Graham’s church has a long history of serving as a place where health professionals and lay people work together to keep people well, to empower and educate, to advocate for health and to care for people in need.
Each year, children entering certain grades are required to submit a certificate to their schools that they have been seen by a dentist. Vera thought it would be a great service to make it easy for families by having a one-stop dental screening after church.
It was so successful for the first time three years ago, they’ve done it every year since.
Dr. Linda Rasubala, a general dentist and faculty member at EIOH, attended along with dentists who are getting specialty training at EIOH. They included Dr. Yulia Tonakanyan, Dr. Ahmed Farag, Dr. Sari Alzoubi, Dr. Bharathi Gorantia and Dr. Sam Dirawi, as well as dental assistants Vera Graham, Sandra Jackson, and Christie Washington-Rodriguez. Children and adults who were screened received some dental tips and an oral health goodie bag.