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Saving Smiles helps special needs patients

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Saving Smiles helps special needs patients

By Beth Fisher. CREATED Jan 15, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Many of  us are afraid of the dentist. We'd rather be sound asleep when the doctor works on us. But there are some patients who really must be knocked out. Patients with special needs like Annie Lippit.

Annie was once student body president at Spring Valley High School. Now, she's a beautiful young woman battling a brain injury.

Her mom said, "I am thankful for the care. Since Annie's accident we didn't know where to go for help. We're still learning."

Annie's brain injury makes dental work virtually impossible. So her mom brought her to the Sedation Dental Center where Dr. Steven DeLisle will put her under to do the work.

"We specialize in helping kids too young to cooperate with the dentist. Or special needs adults who can't sit for long procedures. Here they can go to sleep and get all the work done at one time."

In addition, Dr. DeLisle founded Saving Smiles, a program that offers five patients a month free dental care.

"My aunt has cerebral palsy. She grew up in my home. And in college I worked with special needs patients. During my residency at Loma Linda I worked with special needs patients. If I"m not going to do it, who will?"

It's a gift to Annie's family. They are focused on helping their daughter recover and now dental care is one less thing to worry about, "We are just so thankful. Very, very thankful."

The Saving Smiles program serves special needs adults over the age of 21 when Medicaid stops covering preventative dentistry.

Medicaid will still cover extractions but the goal here is to keep teeth healthy and prevent that from being necessary.

Beth Fisher

Beth Fisher

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Beth Fisher is an anchor for Good Morning Las Vegas and reports on the positive news in Las Vegas.