11:10 AM

LVHN’s Dental Department Gives Free Care during “Give Kids a Smile Day”

It’s the second of two days of dental care for kids

Eight-year-old Uyen Ly was all smiles as she and her father, Phuong, strolled into the dental clinic at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg on Feb. 23 for her first-ever dental appointment. Even her sweater matched the occasion: SMILE it spelled in a variety of colors.

Dentist Christopher Low, DMD, and Susan Chaikowsky, dental assistant, gave Ly an oral exam, cleaned and polished her teeth, took X-rays and applied fluoride to them. They made the experience easy, painless and even fun for their patient, who smiled throughout her visit.

Protecting kids’ smiles for years

Ly, a second-grader from Allentown, was one of 25 kids from the community who received free dental care at the annual “Give Kids a Smile Day,” sponsored by Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) for the past 13 years. The dental clinic at LVH–17th held its day earlier in the month, providing care to 18 low-income children from the community. The total value of free care provided by LVHN over the life of the program exceeds $202,000.

“Our dentists volunteer their time at the clinic to provide services that sometimes get pushed to the back burner by families when things are difficult economically,” says dentist Michele Pisano-Marsh, DMD, who runs the clinic at Muhlenberg. “In addition to the free care we give, we become their ‘dental home’ for all their lives. It’s part of our community service.”

Toddler gets star treatment

This was Mason Bisher’s first time at the clinic, as well. Accompanied by his mother, Domilys Rosario, the two-year old was initially shy but soon warmed up to dentist Steven Fenstermacher, DMD, and Ruth Usino, dental assistant, as they treated him like a celebrity and encouraged him during his treatment.

“You’re doing so good,” Fenstermacher said. “You’re teeth look great!”

Besides healthy teeth, the real payoff for Bisher was the Beanie Baby stuffed toy he picked out of a gift bag after his appointment for being such a stellar patient.