Canton, Ohio: Thanks to a generous gift from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, Mercy Dental Services recently purchased the diaco® dental chair, a fully mobile unit designed specifically for wheelchair patients. With the new lift, a patient remains comfortably in her personal wheelchair, eliminating all manual handling, lifting and hoisting for a safer and more dignified experience.
Controlled by a joystick, the diaco® dental chair positions the patient at the optimal height and angle for the best possible oral care. The lift can safely hold more than 1,100 pounds, allowing dental care access regardless of a patient’s weight or size.
According to Andrew M. Wojtkowski, DMD, program director of Mercy Dental Services and Dental Residency Program, the new lift will enhance the dental experience for not only nursing home patients, but for patients with medical conditions that require them to be in a wheelchair, including scoliosis, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), paralysis, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, amputations and more. Lisa Shannon, office manager for Mercy Dental Services, adds that this is the only wheelchair lift available in its five-county area of Stark, Tuscarawas, Wayne, Holmes and Summit counties.
Wojtkowski says the new piece of equipment furthers the mission of Mercy Medical Center. “This lift gives us the ability to work with a greater range of special-needs patients, which supports Mercy’s mission of offering accessible patient care.” With the future addition of an ergonomically designed special needs room, the wheelchair lift will have added value for hospital patients.
For Canton resident Sharon Aquino, the wheelchair lift has definitely enhanced her dental experience. Aquino has cerebral palsy and has been visiting Mercy for almost two years for her dental care. “The doctor doesn’t have to bend over me anymore,” Aquino says. “And it’s a smooth ride,” she says. “I don’t even feel the movement as the lift brings me into proper positioning.”
Aquino says her dentist Milad Saad, DDS, and the staff at Mercy Dental Services, are so good at working with people who have disabilities. “Dr. Saad is always real patient with me,” she says. Aquino found that not all dentists are able to take special needs patients, which contributed to her 20-year absence from dental care. Aquino says she is very grateful to have found Mercy Dental Services, and she hopes other special needs patients in the area learn about the lift and utilize this new technology to take care of their teeth and gums.
Accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA), Mercy Dental Services is committed to the hospital’s century-long mission of providing quality, compassionate, accessible and affordable care for the whole person. Established in 2007, Mercy’s dental center provides a broad range of preventative, cosmetic and restorative dental services for the whole family. For more information, call 330-471-5950 or visit cantonmercy.org.
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.