Dental Staff

Dentist in Holland, MI

All our professionals at Phares Family Dentistry maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends in dentistry..

Thomas Phares

 

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Challenge

poor dental health leads to other health issues

A young boy at Pine Creek Elementary had three severely decayed teeth, including an abscess. It was painful for him and he needed dental services immediately. Kacie, our dental health coordinator of the Seal! Michigan program, contacted the child’s father. He didn’t speak fluent English, but they worked through their language barrier until he understood the urgency of his child’s dental needs. Five minutes before 5:00 p.m., Kacie contacted one of our partnering dental offices. She was able to schedule the child for an appointment the next day, as a result of our community relationship. The father was concerned about whether or not he could leave work to bring his son to the dentist. Kacie encouraged him to call his supervisor, who did approve the father to leave work early. The child received the needed services and the father was extrememly appreciative.

Action

bring services to the children

OCDPH’s Miles of Smiles on-site program offers dental services for Medicaid insured and qualifying uninsured children (0-20 years of age). Services are provided at our health department clinics, county schools and Head Start centers. The dental mobile unit is 40 feet long and is equipped with a waiting area, education station, laboratory, two dental operatory rooms, digital x-ray equipment and a
wheelchair lift. The Miles of Smiles program is made possible through local and state grants, foundations and county support. These funds enable us to provide preventive and restorative dental services for children and young adults. We have a volunteer network of more than 100 dental professionals; dentists, hygienists and Grand Rapids Community College students. Many children and adults go without dental services. According to the CDC, oral infections may be connected to other health complications;
such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Proper dental health enhances our ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey our emotions through facial expressions. As a result of poor dental health, people may be at greater risk for cavities, gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancers.

Dr. Phares is performing an oral exam for the young boy in the dental chair. He had the other children watch while he explained the procedure, helping to calm their nerves. The doctor has volunteered
for the OCDPH Miles of Smiles program for more than 15 years.