Most of us who live in San Francisco are familiar with Bruce Oka’s friendly smile; we see it in every public parking garage in our city. Bruce was formerly on the Board of the San Francisco Mass Transit Authority (SFMTA) and his photo appeared alongside eight other members of this committee, and that of our mayor for many years.
What most people don’t know about Bruce is why he has some missing teeth.
Bruce Oka has Cerebral Palsy (CP). This condition has different manifestations in different people. In his case, it causes some uncontrolled movements of the mouth. This has resulted in extreme wear of the teeth. Additionally, the extraneous movement makes it impossible to have work done at most dental offices because he is unable to hold his mouth still during procedures. As a result, Bruce postponed doing important dental work. It was his 81-year-old Japanese mother who prompted him to see a dentist as one of her last wishes for her son. Bruce explains that she said, “You have lots of broken teeth and [those teeth] will be asking, ‘Did you take good care of me?” This was part of her stance, she believed, that he shouldn’t use his disability to justify being different from others and that he should take care of himself.
Here at The Blende Dental Group, we have enjoyed getting to know Bruce and are not only inspired by his role at the SFMTA and his passion for safe transportation, but also by his role as a Disabilities Rights advocate who has helped our city to become a world-leader in public transportation for those with disabilities. Thanks to a complex and successful case performed by The Blende Dental Group, Bruce now has a beautiful smile.
Awake: Carmen and Gail were looking for a new dentist when they moved to San Francisco from Ohio.
Emergency: The emergency room at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) called The Blende Dental Group because Chris required emergency dental work in the hospital.
At home: Due to her dementia, leaving the memory care unit at Age Song was not an option for Sarah Marie.