Your Special Smiles program helps adults with special needs

Published: May. 18, 2018 at 8:50 PM MDT
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For patients with special needs, a simple filling at the dentist could be traumatic and difficult.

So a local doctor created a program to help ease the discomfort and make the most of their time at a health facility.

The program is called Your Special Smiles, the brain child of Dr. Brooke, who wanted to provide better access to care for adults with special needs.

Most of the patients in the program require general anesthesia for the procedures because they might be frightened or confused in a regular dentist’s office.

The exams are comprehensive, allowing regular physicians to request other tests or screenings be done while they're already asleep, so it will feel less invasive.

Like a mole biopsy, ear cleaning or services done by a gynecologist.

“The residents will come in during the surgeries and they'll perform any of the medical procedures that are recommended by their doctor,” said Dr. Brooke Fukuoka, dentist. “When they wake up basically everything that needs done, has been done that can be done in that setting.”

Dr. Nicole Rusk is a family physician at St. Luke’s Jerome and is a partner in the program, pairing up doctors in training to assist in the procedures.

”I think in every community whether you are urban or rural we have a lot of people who have developmental disabilities,” said Dr. Rusk. “Or who need extra help, have special needs. So being able to provide this service for them and to do something special for them has been invaluable.”

Dr. Brooke moved here in 2014 and realized that many special needs patients were having to travel to Boise to have these procedures done.

Your Special Smiles also visits group homes and elderly care facilities.

Your Special Smiles can be reached at 208-859-8449.


(208) 859-8449