I don’t think I have ever seen so many rotten teeth as during this Dental Mission. The reason might be that at all the 3 venues where we set up the clinic, they had never before been visited by volunteer dentists.

The first 2 venues were small islands on Dawahon reef, which has a group of islands between Bohol and Leyte Islands. Here Dr. Rachel from England points out the first area we went to.

As mentioned in our previous blog, the main livelihood for the islanders were that of growing and harvesting seaweeds used as food additives. Very few from these islands had ever visited a dentist, and most had never used a toothbrush.

Many of the teenagers were well on their way of losing their front teeth, so we tried to do what we could to restore them, as these young ones have their whole life ahead of them, and being able to meet people and situations with a winning smile would definitely be to prefer.

Dr. Alex was so happy to fix the front teeth of a number of teenagers. What a wonderful gift they received – all free of charge.

When we examined the high-school students from Hingutanan Island, bad front teeth was a common problem. Many of the students had teeth that were past fixing, so we left them in if they didn’t give them pain, just so that they could still use them to bite. We were still able to treat this girl.

Nikolaj proudly shows the beautiful restoration he did on this girl, and she was elated.

On to “Sea Turtle Lagoon Resort” at Camoboan, Tabogon to the north on Cebu Island. We set up the clinic in large tents in their big parking area.

Flemming is the main organizer of these large events, and here he’s inspecting the table with all the instruments and materials the dentists would use in their treatment.

Mrs. Natividad Ruiz (right) was faithfully at the receiving area welcoming the patients and together with her barangay helpers, they filled out the registration forms with the basic data, making it easy for the dentists to just fill in the information of teeth treated and medicine prescribed.

Dr. Martha helped examining the patients and sending them off to the sitting area waiting to receive the treatment.

Though information had been disseminated to the whole area, we were faced with having very few patients the first morning, so Sally, our host and owner of the “Sea Turtle Lagoon Resort” and Elisabet went around to the elementary and high-schools in the area, informing them again of the Dental Mission and that all the treatments and medicine would be for free. It was almost too good to be true! But it worked, and with parent’s permission, the children came for the treatment.

Recently we were so fortunate to receive a mobile digital X-ray from USA as a donation for our Dental Outreach Programs, as there are times when the dentists need to be able to determine if it would be safe to extract a tooth/teeth from a patient. Here Elisabet and Flemming are working with the equipment. A big thank you to DEXIS for their donation! http://www.dexis.com/

Dr. Martha is taking an X-ray of a patient while Dr. Mona (left) is observing.

At the end of the Dental Mission at the “Sea Turtle Lagoon Resort”, everyone gathered for a photo. In the middle front waving to us is Mrs. Sally Kelly who hosted the dental mission and had done a great work preparing for this event – the first of it’s kind in Camoboan. Our stay at the resort was pleasant and the food was excellent. You made it easy for us to be good!

We want to thank everyone that had a part in the Dental Mission – the sponsors, dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants, dental technicians,  nurses, barangay health workers, police and security personnel, cooks, banka-boat captains and personnel, drivers etc. etc. You all helped to make a difference. In the 9 days of treatment, we treated 1160 patients, restored 734 teeth, extracted 1763 and gave prophylaxis treatment to 88 patients. Our dental hygienists were busy instructing school children from 5 schools in the need of tooth-brushing and how to properly do so, going from classroom to classroom. They also helped mothers of small children understand the need for them to actively participate in brushing the teeth of their small children.

It was a wonderful Dental Mission, successfully completed.

You can read more about the dental missions here.

If you would like to give a donation toward this program, you can do so here.


Story and photos: Elisabet Hansen


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