Crossroads Community’s Dental Program creates smiles
CENTREVILLE — Connecting oral health with behavioral health recover y is at the core of Crossroad Community’s Dental Program. Those with behavioral health issues have an increased risk of oral-health neglect due to a wide range of factors including severe dental anxiety, high prevalence of substance use (alcohol, tobacco and narcotics) and low priority placed on dental care. To further complicate the matter, some medications taken by those with mental illness cause oral side effects.
“The most important benefit to oral health is the improved overall health of the individual,” said Crossroads Community’s Executive Director John Plaskon. “Inflammation from dental disease is tied to many somatic health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes. Dental health not only results in a new smile and improved self-esteem, it also enhances the health of those helped by our dental program.”
Since 2011, Crossroads Community’s Dental Program has helped over 270 individuals gain access to much needed prophylactic and restorative dental care. This program is underwritten by grants, fundraisers, and the generosity of local dentists.
Dr. Neil Brayton of Chestertown has been a part of the program since its inception. Two additional dentists, Dr. Thomas Downs of Centreville and Dr. Jared Nave of Easton, joined the program serving consumers in Queen Anne’s and Dorchester counties, respectively. Both Dr. Brayton and Dr. Nave remain in the program. Dr. Downs recently retired and Crossroads Community is now seeking a Centreville or Queen Anne’s County dentist to support the program.
To be eligible to receive Crossroads Community’s dental health services, one must first be a member of its Health Home Services, which integrates physical and behavioral health services for individuals with chronic mental health conditions.
Crossroads Community’s other services include Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Residential Rehabilitation, Supported Employment, Young Adult Program, and Case Management. Individuals can participate in multiple services. All CCI’s programs share the common positive and life affirming goal to promote healthy growth and development to build strong foundations for independent living. In addition, a Respite Program is provided for families by partnering with trained licensed foster care families, giving relief for both children and their caregivers.
Serving residents of Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties, Crossroads Community has locations in Centreville, Chestertown, and Cambridge. Many of its services have specific eligibility criteria. For more information on the Dental Program or any of its other services, please call 410-758-3050 or visit ccinconline.com.
Wyneema Meekins, right, a Crossroads’ consumer, shows off her new smile, which was made possible by the Crossroads Dental Program and Dr. Jared Nave, left, of Easton