The Geriatric Toothfairy

Sonya Dunbar

Highlights
Sonya Dunbar

career

Profile

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  • 28 years practitioner of dental hygiene
  • Master Health Care Administration
  • Adjunct Professor Sanford Brown
  • RDH Magazine Editorial Advisory Board
  • TEDx speaker
  • Co-Founder of National Mobile Dentistry Conference
  • Co-Founder American Mobile Dentistry Alliance
  • Vice President of Mobile Dental Xpress Wellness and Nutrition (non-profit)
  • Founder of The Suave & Sassy Seniors Show with Sonya
  • RCC Influencer
  • Crest & Oral B Diversity and Inclusion Influencer
ARTICLES

published

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  • RDH Magazine
  • Dental Town
  • Oral Care & Oral Cancer Journal
  • Aging & Gerontology Journal
  • Program Success Magazine
  • Dew magazine
  • DentistryIQ
  • Today RDH
  • Port of Harlem Magazine
Appearances

media

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  • Tamron Hall Show
  • God Made Millionaire
  • Jacksonville Buzz
  • Jacksonville Morning Show 
RECIEVED

awards

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  • 2020 Heart to Hands Award by Philips
  • 2019 Quality Senior Living Award
  • 2019 ACHI Magazine Health & Wellness Award

 

Keynote Speaking Topics

Keynote Speaking Topics

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Establishing a Successful Mobile Dental Program

Mobile and portable oral health programs were developed as a strategy to remove known barriers to vulnerable populations and improve access to oral health services. Now, many of these programs serve older adults, especially in nursing homes, individuals with physical and mental impairments, and those with other special needs. Corporate mobile dentistry is on the rise as well. This course will discuss the provision of care for the geriatric population in long term care facilities. An overview will be provided on how to establish a lucrative mobile dental program as a dental hygiene professional. A discussion on how to navigate some of the challenges associated with mobile dentistry will conclude the course.

Objectives

1. Identify problems that create issues with  access to  oral health care for  underserved populations,  particularly with older  adults.

2. The many faces of mobile dentistry

3. Establish a profitable mobile dentistry program

4. How can Teledentistry work for geriatric mobile dentistry

5. Cite challenges that  exist with owning a mobile dental program

Are you Treating Your Patients Equal – Moving Beyond Race to Sexuality and Gender

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities now make up nearly 4% of the adult population in the US. Like race, ethnicity and religion, gender identity and sexual orientation can affect the way a patient perceives their health and utilize health care services. This course will examine the importance for oral health professionals to be able to provide affirmative and inclusive oral health care for the LGBT community that is respectful and responsive to the health beliefs, practices, and needs of this diverse population. A discussion on LGBT terms and effective communication strategies for communicating with the LGBT community will be included.

Course Description 

1. Discuss the demographics of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community

2. Provide a cultural context of the LGBT community 

3. Link barriers to care for the LGBT community that result in adverse health outcomes

4. Explain common terms and concepts that will help oral health professionals develop an understanding and foster effective communication strategies with the LGBT community

Addressing Oral Health Needs for Baby Boomers and Residing in Long-Term Care Facilities

 The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA ’87) requires all long-term care facilities (LTCF) that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement to provide their residents with an access to dental care. Yet, despite the act, as many as 70% of residents in LTCF have been found to have unacceptable levels of oral hygiene exhibiting signs of periodontal disease, caries, and oral facial pain. This course will discuss the oral health status of the elderly residing in LTCF and the relationship this has on oral and systemic health. A review will be provided on the relationship between the oral manifestations and oral complications of common systemic diseases with a strong emphasis on pneumonia. Establishing interdisciplinary oral health care protocols and assessment guides will conclude the course.

Course Objectives

1. Discuss demographic trends in the US that will reflect an aging population

2. Outline the relationship between oral health and the manifestation of systemic diseases

3. Describe the correlation between poor oral health and aspiration pneumonia of the elderly residing in long-term care facilities (LTCF). 

4. Define key components of a research-based, comprehensive institutional oral care protocol and evidence for reducing pneumonia 

5. Implement effective interprofessional strategies to improve oral health for the aging adult in LTCF.

A New Era of Dental Care 

Teledentistry has become the buzzword since covid-19; however, it has been around for many years, and it is here to stay. It is making a significant impact in a range of dental and medical healthcare settings. The introduction in 2018 of CDT codes for Teledentistry services and the increasing number of state practice acts enabling direct access are rapidly changing how dental services are delivered. There are many innovative ways to weave Teledentistry into our daily dental practice and make it productive. However, it is essential to understand Teledentistry and some of the different platforms. Digital technology has transformed all aspects of modern life, including the work environment, education, and leisure time. In that context, digital technology is transforming healthcare. The transformation affects both providers and patients and offers a way to expand services and improve efficiency in delivering health care. This includes providing access to both generalist and specialist care services in rural and remote areas, as well as for patients with limited mobility.

Objectives: 

1. Understand opportunities to implement Teledentistry in your brick-and-mortar practice. 

2. List how Teledentistry provides access to care. 

3.  Recognize the difference between telehealth, telemedicine, and Teledentistry. 

4. Explain the benefits of Teledentistry in hospitals, long-term care facilities, urgent care facilities.

Many things can hinder success in family, life, entrepreneurship, and career; however, one of the most significant barriers is how we speak to ourselves. The words you use hold immense power. … The saying, “The words you speak become the house you live in,” has great truth. The world mirrors yourself back to you. If you use positive language about yourself and your ability to meet challenges and achieve your goals, that will show up for you externally. This course will walk you through changing stinking-thinking and identifying where these thoughts come from. Each participant will leave with a virtual road map to continue their work at home.

Course Objective

1. Identify clues that thoughts can be dangerous to your success.

2. Learn how to protect our minds from energy vampires.

3. Review how our brain receives negative self-talk.

4. Formulate a step-by-step plan to protect yourself from stinking-thinking thoughts.

5. How to become a champion and win with intention

If your mouth is not healthy, there is a good chance that your body is also not healthy. This is because in addition to showing gum disease and tooth decay, your mouth can show signs of many other conditions. It tells a story without your saying one word. If you are missing certain foods in your diet or you have a vitamin deficiency, the lack of proper nutrition may be abundantly clear in your mouth. 

We will learn about common dental and oral problems and explore how poor dental health affects our overall health—how, amazingly, it impacts even the heart, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and more.

Objectives

1. List the many health disorders associated with poor oral health.

2. Discuss how poor oral health affects the quality of life of aging adults.

3. Explorer how oral health disparities affect minority communities more.

4. Explain the link between poor oral health and systemic disease.

Suffering in Silence: Dental Mental Stigma

Some of the most common mental illnesses can have a negative impact on a person’s oral health include anxiety and panic attacks, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, self-harm, schizophrenia and psychosis. As health care professionals it is imperative that we can identify signs of mental illness and know how to treat patients and co-workers that suffer from mental illness. Studies has shown  that those suffering from mental illnesses tend to avoid dental care so much that their oral hygiene is neglected. This can result in gum disease and decay. 

In addition, according to the American Dental Association’s (ADA) 2015 Health and Wellness Survey, a total of 11% of dentists surveyed were diagnosed with depression, 6% were diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and 4% were suffering from panic attacks. A total of 28% of dentists involved in the study reported seeking help for their mental health, while 44% believed they could resolve their symptoms without seeking professional help. Dentists face unique pressures in their field, with strict guidelines and adherences to abide by.  The demands of those in this profession can take a toll on mental health, with many dentists experiencing direct affects of anxiety and depression in their personal and professional lives.

Objectives

1. List different types and signs of mental illness.

2. Explain common oral health issues associated with mental illness. 

3. Describe how to communicate with co-workers that suffer from mental illness.

4. Explore adverse oral effects of medication taken of mental illness

Workplace Violence

A gunman shot and killed his wife at a dentist’s office in Tennessee Wednesday morning, police said. An armed bystander shot the gunman, detained him, and waited for police to arrive; Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy told reporters.

The sheriff said the gunman’s wife worked at the dentist’s office in Kingsport. Cassidy didn’t identify the gunman or his wife and said he didn’t know the motive for the shooting.

In today’s uncertain times it is important that staff and patients feel safe at their place of work or when they visit a dental office. This course is designed to help dental professionals become more prepared if the unthinkable happens.

Objectives

1. Describe how to handle an aggressive threatening patient.

2. Develop a plan for an active shooter in a dental office.

3. Demonstrate run, fight, hide in the dental office.

5. Identify staff member that suffers from domestic violence.

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INDUSTRY LEADER

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MY BIO

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Sonya Dunbar, also known as the Geriatric Toothfairy, is a Registered Dental Hygienist, TEDx, and national public speaker guided by over 28 years of dental experience in private practice, skilled nursing facilities, and academia. Sonya and her husband, Gerald Dunbar, are the owners of Mobile Dental Xpress, providing comprehensive dental care to long-term care facilities. In addition, Sonya is a Geriatric Oral health educator and trainer. Sonya is a US Navy Veteran and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Gerontology.

Sonya is a serial entrepreneur and successful Cultural diversity workplace coach that increase cultural awareness, knowledge, and communication through interactive educational workshops. She is a Key Option Leader on culture and diversity for Crest & OralB and a known philanthropist. She is the Co-Founder of the National Mobile & Teledentistry Dental Conference, The American Mobile Dentistry & Teledentistry Alliance, and a published author of Golden Nuggets For Life, Co-Author of Modern Mobile & Teledentistry, and The Tooth & Nothing but The Truth Books. And if that is not enough, the National Day Archives LLC has proclaimed November 9th of each calendar year as The Geriatric Toothfairy Day.

 

 

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