Contact: Natalie Shelton
Robin Jordan named new hygienist/coordinator at Heard and Lamar County dental clinics
Robin Jordan, the new dental hygienist and program coordinator at District 4 Public Health’s Dental Clinics in the Heard and Lamar county health departments, leads somewhat of a dual life.
By day, she’s busy providing care to children and adults not only in the two Dental Clinics, but also in schools spread throughout the 12-county area that comprises District 4 Public Health.
By night, she’s providing a different type of care—the kind that involves bottle-feeding orphaned calves, which also depend on her well before sunrise at her family’s 1,000-acre cattle and poultry farm in Cragford, Ala.
“I’m usually up at 4 a.m. on Wednesdays to make sure the babies are fed before I go to work,” Jordan said. “Seeing them is a good way to start my morning and end my day. In between, I get to hear from patients how thankful they are that we could bring relief to their pain or provide them dental care that’s affordable. We can feel their gratitude.”
Jordan began her new role in November 2022, replacing longtime dental program coordinator Paige Spiece. She says before Spiece resigned to spend more time with family, she stayed for several weeks to help Jordan with the transition.
“It was a huge help for me to work alongside Paige,” Jordan said. “I’ve spent the last 22 years as a dental hygienist in private practices in Georgia and Alabama, so continuing Paige’s work at the dental clinic has been very similar. I’ve enjoyed meeting our patients, not only in our clinics at the health departments, but also in schools throughout our district.”
Like Spiece, Jordan sees patients on Wednesdays in the Lamar County Dental Clinic alongside Dr. Vincent Pasquarello as they provide dental exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings, sealants, extractions, referrals and more. They offer similar dental care in the Heard County Health Department on Tuesdays.
In addition, Jordan provides dental screenings, fluoride and referrals for children prior to entering Georgia’s Head Start program each fall. She also travels throughout the district to administer Georgia’s dental sealant program, which is available at schools in which 50 percent or greater of the children enrolled are eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch meal program.
Through the program, parents can opt for their children to receive dental sealants on their first and second permanent molars to prevent tooth decay, as well as fluoride treatments and oral health education. Jordan also can identify potential issues such as untreated cavities or gum disease, and she provides referrals to parents when needed.
“If a child has an abscessed tooth, they can’t do their best in school and may even miss school because they’re in pain,” she said. “Through the program, we can actively prevent tooth decay or urge the parent to take the child to the dentist before it becomes worse.”
Dental decay in children is the single most common chronic childhood disease, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services findings on a study of America’s oral health. When left untreated in children, tooth decay can be associated with eating, speaking and learning problems.
Jordan and Dr. Pasquarello see children and adults in the Lamar and Heard dental clinics, and they also see patients through the Medicaid for Pregnant Women program.
“Because of hormonal changes during pregnancy, women are at a higher risk of developing gum disease,” Jordan said. “It’s important they have a routine dental exam at least once during their pregnancy because gum disease can directly affect the health of an unborn baby and is associated with low birth weight and preterm birth.”
Jordan said she enjoys watching Dr. Pasquarello interact with his patients as he provides dental care.
“He’s so patient with everyone and doesn’t ever show any frustration,” she said. “When people get up from the dentist chair, they’re just so thankful, not only for his calming presence but also that we’re simply here for them. So many times, they’ve been looking everywhere for a provider who will see them and provide them care they can afford.”
The dental clinics accept Medicaid, PeachState, Amerigroup, and CareSource coverage but do not accept Medicare. They also offer affordable rates for uninsured patients who are within 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.
To make an appointment at either of the two dental clinics, call (800) 847-4262. Before making an appointment, patients must submit an Uninsured Patient Dental Program form. If needed, appointment representatives can assist patients in completing a form.