NHSC Member Stories: Sean Boynes

There are kids who have been in so much pain
when they’re in school, that when they come into us and we numb them, they fall asleep in the chair.
And that’s about 30-35% of our kids. And the reason they fall asleep in our chair is
because that’s the first time they’ve been out of pain since that tooth started bothering them. I’m Sean Boynes, and I’m a dentist and director of
dental medicine here at CareSouth Carolina. I’m son of a coal miner, and I’m very proud of that.
I wanted to be a dentist since I was six. And so as I’ve gone through life, I knew that
that was always what I wanted. We are a federally-qualified health center, which means
we see people regarless of their ability to pay. If it wasn’t for us being there, they would have nowhere
to go,and I mean that literally. Nowhere to go. You can’t get to the dental office, well, we’ll
just bring the dental office to you.The mobile dental unit is really used as a tool for
outreach. It’s to provide access where there is no access. To do it within the schools is an added bonus, because
not only does that allow us to reach the kids that we need to see, but it also allows us
to do educational things. And it’s a way for us to decrease that disparity for the people
who can’t access it in any other way. The National Health Service Corps is just one of
the ways that we actually incentivize, to put good providers in places of need. This is a tough job, and what we’re
doing here is different. And we’re trying to change the complexion
of the way care is delivered. It isn’t always what’s ailing them; maybe they just
want somebody to talk to. And kids are the same way. It’s just a matter of providing that avenue for that.
Eighty-give percent of the kids that we see have never seen a dentist, and that’s, I mean a
16 or 17-year old never been to the dentist. How do I know if I’m being successful in treating
this patient or treating this school? We use a caries risk assessment score, and that’s
another thing that is unique to our program. We actually put a numerical value on cavities,
and home health habits, and what the mother does,
and what the siblings do. The caries risk assessment is our outcomes.
Are we doing our job and are we doing it right? My grandma always taught me, you know,
you are only as good as the society that you make. This environment, the environment of public health,
the environment created by the National Health Corps enables a provider
to enact the most amount of change.

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