Recently, such a treatment as a part of the contract with NHF, and therefore for free, has started to be carried out by Panaceum Center of Implantology and Cosmetic Dentistry on Pużaka Street − as the only facility in Opole. It has received over thirty patients already.
− We are very happy that we can provide such services − says Dr. Agnieszka Kania who attends to the disabled patients at Panaceum. − Healthy people often do not realize that the tooth treatment of a disabled child or even a handicapped adult is simply impossible without anesthesia. Sometimes years pass before such a patient goes to the dentist.
Dr Kania emphasizes that there is practically no way of explaining to impaired people how important it is for them to have healthy teeth, that is, it is necessary for them to open their mouths and be examined. − And keeping an open mouth for a longer time is not an option at all − she adds.
So the only option is treatment under anaesthesia – a comprehensive one, of all cavities at once.
After coming to Panaceum, a disabled patient receives an injection − the so-called stupid Jaś − after which he or she feels relaxed enough to be able to undergo the examination on a special super-modern CT scanner designed to diagnose changes in jaw and sinuses. Once the doctors have obtained accurate imaging diagnostics, the anaesthesiologist provides medicine through the vein injection. The patient remains under constant monitoring during anaesthesia, which includes the monitoring of heart as well.
During this time, a five-person staff for one and a half to two hours cleanses teeth from caries, removes those that cannot be saved, performs gums stitching, etc.
The effect of such a team work is often spectacular. − It happens that a parent or a caregiver of such a patient asks with surprise if we have replaced the jaw with a new one − Dr. Kania says. − And the answer is: those are the same teeth, only cured and white.
The news about the free comprehensive dental treatment of the disabled has quickly spread. “Patients from all over the Opole region come to us, and more often from Silesia,” she says.
She adds that the doctor’s office has all sanitary-epidemiological station permits to perform treatment under general anesthesia. − We have purchased the equipment of the latest generation that allows to perform general anesthesia under vital signs monitoring and eliminates nitrous oxide (which is toxic and causes environment pollution) as well as other factors which trigger malignant fever − Dr. Kania says.
For the comfort of Panaceum’s small patients, a fairy-tale room was created. Each element placed in it encourages the youngest to come and then to undergo treatment. A real ship travels there on the sea and one can even look through portholes, fish fly in the air, and the octopus winks. − Not only do doctors treat teeth, but also tell parents and children how to take care of them, what diet to use, how to maintain oral hygiene − Dr. Kania says.
Anna Redmerska, working at the Autism Association, has an eighteen-year-old autistic son. She is very happy that if the need arises, the boy will be treated under anaesthesia. − It is very important that we finally have such an opportunity in Opole − she says. − I do not believe that my son could let cure a tooth without full anesthesia, it is simply impossible. The same goes for other handicapped children − she argues. − Finally, we will not have to look for help far from Opole.
According to an underestimate, about 500 people with autism live in our voivodship. It is impossible to estimate the number of handicapped people. Statistics show, however, that around 8-12 percent of the population is disabled, many of whom are mentally handicapped.
Anna Szcząbrowska from Opole department of the National Health Fund ensures that the signed contracts should meet the needs of the environment to which they are addressed. − We will keep an eye on the situation − she says. − If it turns out that the contracts are too small, we will change them so that all those with disabilities can benefit from the option of the treatment under anesthesia − she assures.
Apart from Opole, they will cure their disabled patients under the narcosis in Prudnik, Strzelce, Namysłów and Nysa.