Local Dentist Steps to the Plate, Keeps Special Olympics Athletes Smiling

By Nance Larsen

July 5, 2018

Dr. Kimberly Bolak, DDS, is volunteering with Special Olympics for the first time at the USA Games and is already hooked for life.

At a Special Olympics Healthy Smiles screening on Tuesday, July 3, Dr. Bolak met with Special Olympics Virginia athlete Tyler Schuster, who had been hit in the mouth with a softball. The velocity of the impact, and the fact that Tyler had not been wearing a mouth guard at the time, resulted in a severely damaged tooth that needed special care beyond what is available in the state-of-the-art mobile unit.

“The nerve was almost exposed and simply capping the tooth would have quickly resulted in pain,” said Dr. Bolak.

Tyler needed a root canal in order to save the tooth, a procedure more detailed than the mobile unit could accommodate. Dr. Bolak made an immediate decision to make a difference. She met Tyler at her office, Snohomish Modern Dentistry, to perform the root canal, cap the tooth and rebuild his smile. 

After the procedure, Dr. Bolak made Tyler promise that he would be fitted with a mouth guard the next day at Healthy Athletes and also made him promise to always use a mouth guard while on the softball field. The next day, Tyler saw Dr. Bolak and flashed both his brilliant new smile and new custom-fitted mouth guard.

The USA Games experience and meeting athletes like Tyler has motivated Dr. Bolak to continue to work with athletes. Her office will now regularly treat athletes from the Special Olympics Washington program every Wednesday morning. Now that’s a reason to smile.