GREEN BAY, Wis. — These are busy times from Dr. Patrick Berg and other staff at Oral Health Partnership in Brown County.
What You Need To Know
- Oral Health Partnership in Brown County has seen more than 10,000 unique patients so far this year. That’s a record
- OHP provides care to underserved patients, from children to teenagers
- It recently added a fifth clinic and sixth dentist
- More patients are coming in because they delayed care during the pandemic
On a typical day, Berg said he’ll treat anywhere from 10 to 15 children and teens seeking care at the clinic.
“We’re always busy. The schedule is always full front to back. Once one leaves, the next one comes in,” Berg said. “In terms of just volume, it’s as much as it could be. I’m sure we could be three or four times bigger and still be busy. There are just that many kinds who need it.”
Oral Health Partnership is seeing a surge of patients this year.
“Almost every kiddo is decay,” Berg said. “You do get the ones coming in where one of their back baby teeth is unfortunately infected and they have a little abscess going on. That takes priority over just some fillings they need done because now you have something hurting them that you need to work on. Generally, it’s just a good amount of cavities.”
OHP is a nonprofit that provides services to underserved kids and teens at five clinics. The partnership recently saw its 10,000th unique patient of the year.
Executive Director Michael Schwartz said that’s a new annual record.
“We found that post-pandemic, because people delayed care, there are many more children with much more need in Brown County and outside of Brown County,” he said.
The resumption of a school-based program is another factor in that record number, Schwartz said. Additionally, some dentists have also curtailed seeing kids on Medicare.
“We are bigger than ever. We have our fifth clinic, our sixth dentist and yet we still have months’ worth of wait lists because many kids have waited for care and many other counties are referring,” Schwartz said. “It’s one of our longest wait lists, despite the fact we’re bigger than we’ve ever been.”
Berg said each day allows him to make a difference.
“Making sure every kid was happy and knowing you sent them out a little bit healthier, a little bit better, and hopefully with a positive experience that you can build on next time,” he said.