JF&CS Volunteer Dentist Gives Life-Saving Advice to Patient

June 11, 2021

JF&CS Volunteer Dentist Gives Life-Saving Advice to Patient

“I don’t think anybody loves going to the dentist... It’s one of those things you ... need to do, but it’s always a really good experience for me. There’s a true concern for me as a human being [at Ben Massell Dental Clinic].” Few people claim to enjoy going to the dentist, and even fewer can say that their dentist truly changed their life. Sandra Richardson is one of the few who falls into both categories.

Richardson started going to the Ben Massell Dental Clinic (BMDC) in 2012 for financial reasons. She had just lost her job due to company downsizing and wanted to keep her teeth as healthy as possible. Over the years, she has received services such as gum surgery, x-rays, and cleaning at yearly checkups.

During one of her recent routine checkups at BMDC, Richardson’s dentist asked her about a bump on her nose. Richardson thought it was just a pimple that had not healed because her glasses rubbed against it, but her dentist thought it might be something else.

Richardson’s dentist thought the bump could be basal cell carcinoma – a type of skin cancer. Richardson has a history of skin cancer in her family, but thought that she would not get it. While her mother was out in the sun all the time without any protection, Richardson was educated about the dangers of too much sun in her 30s. Since then, she has tried to protect her skin as much as possible.

Despite her certainty that she would not get skin cancer, Richardson had the bump looked at by her health care provider because of her dentist’s concern. Richardson said, “If she hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have done it.” The biopsy showed that the bump was, in fact, basal cell carcinoma and Richardson had Mohs surgery to get it treated.

Richardson has recovered from her surgery and she has nothing but wonderful things to say about the Ben Massell Dental Clinic and the dentists who volunteer there. She says, “[BMDC] is just a wonderful place that really cares about the people that go there ... It’s [full of] people who are very good at what they do and it’s a really good experience for [patients].”

If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering at Ben Massell Dental Clinic, please visit benmasselldentalclinic.org/volunteer.