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ADA News | Illinois Practice Owner Uses Dentistry to Give Back

Illinois practice owner says dentistry in ‘the best way I can give back’

After battling homelessness and other setbacks for months upon his arrival in the U.S. from Jamaica, Doniel Brown had last year for the first time found a home where he felt supported and safe. His high school grades were improving and he was impressing fellow churchgoers in this suburb northwest of Chicago with his motivational talks.

But Mr. Brown still needed to see a professional for one nagging issue in his life: a toothache.

Dr. Kerry Lowery was quick to raise her hand to help.

Dr. Lowery, a 1982 Loyola University Chicago graduate and a general dentist for more than 30 years who owns his own practice in Park Ridge, is a volunteer with Safe Families, a Chicago-based non profit in which families open their homes to care for children whose parents are in crisis.

Mr. Brown, now 20, had come to Illinois in 2013 to stay with relatives and work.  The transition was volatile, and the young man, who enrolled in high school, ended up with nowhere to go until Scott and Jennifer Reed, who are hosting him through Safe Families, invited him to their Skokie , Ill. home in early 2014.

But Mr. Brown, largely because of his age and tremendous likability, stood out. At 19, visiting Dr. Lowery’s practice last year was his first visit to a dentist. Having grown up chewing raw sugar cane and doing little other than washing his mouth out with water to care for his teeth, Mr. Brown said he was more than a little nervous to get his mouth checked out, especially upon seeing the spread of devices and tools beside Dr. Lowery’s chair.

“I said ‘you have to put me to sleep or something,’” Brown recalled saying. Now, he can laugh about his initial hesitation.

On his first visit to Dr. Lowery office the two mostly just talked about what he should expect as the two continued to meet, Mr. Brown said.

“I had to explain to him what I do, what a dentist does and why he was having problems and how we were going to fix it,” Dr. Lowery said. “I told him it would be fine.”

Soon after the initial conversation, Mr. Brown learned the cause of his toothache — he had 15 cavities.

“He said he was going to save my teeth,” Brown said, and, now, a half dozen visits later, Brown said his teeth are much healthier.

The cost of fillings and cleanings amounted to several thousand dollars, fees that Dr. Lowery waived in full.

“I said, ‘Let’s do everything. Take care of all his needs. Let’s just do it right, do what we can,” Dr. Lowery said.

But Mr. Brown, largely because of his age and tremendous likability, stood out. At 19, visiting Dr. Lowery’s practice last year was his first visit to a dentist. Having grown up chewing raw sugar cane and doing little other than washing his mouth out with water to care for his teeth, Mr. Brown said he was more than a little nervous to get his mouth checked out, especially upon seeing the spread of devices and tools beside Dr. Lowery’s chair.

“I said ‘you have to put me to sleep or something,’” Brown recalled saying. Now, he can laugh about his initial hesitation.

On his first visit to Dr. Lowery’s office the two mostly just talked about what he should expect as the two continued to meet, Mr. Brown said.

“I had to explain to him what I do, what a dentist does and why he was having problems and how we were going to fix it,” Dr. Lowery said. “I told him it would be fine.”

Soon after the initial conversation, Mr. Brown learned the cause of his toothache — he had 15 cavities.

“She said she was going to save my teeth,” Brown said, and, now, a half dozen visits later, Brown said his teeth are much healthier.

The cost of fillings and cleanings amounted to several thousand dollars, fees that Dr. Lowery waived in full.

“I said, ‘Let’s do everything. Take care of all his needs. Let’s just do it right, do what we can,” Dr. Lowery said.

Contact our office today to learn more about Dr. Lowery.

Original Source: http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2015-archive/may/illinois-practice-owner-says-dentistry-is-the-best-way-i-can-give-back

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