(Submitted by CHS Senior, Trace Strotheide)
Following a semester long anatomy and physiology class, Chadron High students traveled down to CAPWN Dental in hope of furthering their knowledge of a medical based field. Lead by dentist, James Hadden, a Bridgeport native, the students were exposed to the different sides of dentistry and how important oral healthcare is to their community. As the students listened and asked questions relating to his field of work, Dr. Hadden revealed that Chadron isn't as protected as one may think. Scoring a 18 out of 20, Chadron is one of the nations worst places for oral health and according to Dr.Hadden, this is exactly the reason that he was brought to this region.
Following Dentistry School in Lincoln, NE, James Hadden found himself employed at Community Action Partnership Of Western Nebraska Dental (CAPWN Dental). CAPWN Dental is a government-funded institution that provides oral healthcare for underprivileged citizens. Soon after beginning his new venture into the rural atmosphere, James began to grow accustom to his practice and now finds his job rewarding and looks further into the future to see what his clinic can provide to the community. Knowing that tooth decay is the number one childhood disease in the United States, Dr. Hadden has began to further prevent tooth decay in the surrounding community. Dr. Hadden has traveled to local schools, where his team provides fluoride brushing and oral check-ups to grades K-8. These measurements alone, James believes have further prevented some future oral care disorders in the area. However, these actions alone are not even a glimpse at what CAPWN Dental has provided for our community and the surrounding area.
While the visit continued, the class joined around the dental office where Dr. Hadden told the students the importance of brushing, flossing and how to properly maintaining the pH of your mouth. In which he shared the fact that it takes your mouth a whole hour to balance pH and prevent acid build-up, furthering the idea to eat in moderation and avoid snacking throughout the day. As the session continued, James told the students an average day at work and what kind of training was required to become a Dentist. However, before their meeting came to an end, James introduced the students to new ways of thinking for future experiences which included being yourself in an interview and to never be afraid to try for a particular hard class that may be offered to you in the future. Finally, as the students were just prepared to leave, Dr. Hadden shared the most important tip of the day. James went on to tell the class to make sure you build up your college GPA in the first two years. This way you are able to enlist in harder classes that may push you to your future goals. Nevertheless, Dr. Hadden stunned the class with his wonderful insight and the class couldn't have been more interested in the life of a dentist.