Back in society with good teeth


Thanks to a collaboration between the Municipality of Groningen, the Center for Dentistry and Oral Hygiene of the UMCG (UMCG-CTM) and Menzis, clients of Addiction Care North Netherlands (VNN) can go to the dentist.

Long-term addiction to hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin causes major dental problems. At the same time, many (former) addicts have a great fear of going to the dentist. On the one hand because of the pain and the stigma of ‘not being welcome’ and on the other hand because of the costs. In the municipality of Groningen, VNN clients can contact Master’s students of Dentistry of the UMCG-CTM. VNN is responsible for guiding clients. The Municipality of Groningen and Menzis contribute to the financing. All parties have entered into the agreement for three years, with the aim of reducing the step back to society.

Back in society

Maurice Westerlaan, nurse at VNN and intermediary for clients to the Center for Dentistry: “Clients who have been treated indicate that clean teeth give a different appearance: sunken cheeks disappear and they dare to smile and speak again. For many clients, this is the first step back to society. Receiving dental care increases the trust of clients in medical care. This also makes it easier to discuss other physical complaints. This ensures that the threshold is lowered to also take other actions such as a visit to a GP and/or referral to a specialist.”

Dealing with the vulnerable

The UMCG-CTM has extensive experience in providing dental care to people with a (long-term) addiction. Henri Lohr, Chef de Clinique at the UMCG-CTM: “Higher education students perform dental care under the supervision of a qualified dentist. During the provision of dental care, sufficient attention is also paid to the fear that VNN clients often have to deal with. This is also a great opportunity for our students to gain experience in dealing with vulnerable and anxious target groups.”

Socially relevant

Dental care is in many cases a precondition for social recovery and resocialization after a long-term addiction. Contributing to the collaboration is important for the Municipality of Groningen and Menzis, because it allows you to help a vulnerable group of residents from the municipality to return to society in a very concrete way. And a good recovery contributes to a person’s vitality and ultimately also to the reduction of health care costs and social costs in the long term.

Back in society with good teeth
Source link Back in society with good teeth

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