Letter: Welcome, new dentists

To the editor:

My name is Dr. Christopher Bevin and I am an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who works in a group practice along with Drs. Holmgren, Smagalski, and Rothschild at Oral and Dental Implant (ODI) Surgery at 2 Harwood Drive right near Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) in Bennington. I am writing this letter to the editor to complement the recent article entitled "Dental Students Come to Arlington."

We at ODI Surgery would like to publicly welcome to the Bennington County community the Battenkill Valley Health Center (BVHC) including its lead dentist, Dr. Stephen Phillips, along with their dental students and ancillary staff. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with BVHC toward the goal of serving the dental needs of our community. It is truly exciting that BVHC is accepting new patients thereby helping expand the access to dental care. Moreover, the recruitment potential for a dental student to perhaps in the future call Bennington County their home is also encouraging as this may help to address the dental practitioner shortage in our area.

I would like to clarify and expand upon a point made in the aforementioned article in which it was said: "It's amazing to me that the oral surgeons in Bennington often have wait times up to three weeks". For elective cases such as dental implants or asymptomatic tooth removals, we do typically book out three to four weeks in advance. This is not out of the ordinary for most medical or dental offices. However, for true dental emergencies such as a patient in pain who may also be significantly swollen from infection, dentists and the SVMC emergency department routinely refer patients to our office on the same day and the patient is treated at that time. We try our hardest to take care of patients in Bennington County and beyond as efficiently as possible.

A unique element of our training as board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons is the ability to sedate patients so that they do not remember the procedure or feel any pain and hear noises associated with the surgery. In these cases, our professional society, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), recommends that we see patients at the first visit as a consult to discuss the surgery followed by a second visit to render the actual treatment. In these cases, same day surgery is delayed but the patient will receive palliative care to help their discomfort.

We look forward to helping on some of the more challenging cases seen at BVHC and certainly we will continue our policy to treat any dental emergencies expediently. Once again, we welcome Dr. Phillips and BVHC to our community.

— Christopher R. Bevin, DMD, MD, and the surgeons at ODI



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