Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friday June 17, 2011

Today was our last day of clinic! It has been an extremely long week, but we had some very complicated cases scheduled for today. 

First, Rupali and Christina Lin worked on the second root canal on our patient, Kique. They were able to save both of his front teeth from extraction by removing the infection inside of the teeth and restoring them with composite (tooth colored fillings). The NOMAD Handheld X-Ray machine came in very handy during the root canal. They were able to do the entire procedure in another room and didn't have to bother everybody working in the clinic everytime they had to take an x-ray. Kique was very grateful! Dr. Arita told us that the UCLA groups are probably the first dentists to do Root Canals in Guaimaca. These people would never receive this kind of care even if they could afford it. Doing root canals in Honduras is very rare and pretty much unheard of in rural villages.

Alex and Lauren worked on restoring 9yo Jonathan's front teeth. He started with massive Class III caries between his front two teeth-->

By the time they were done, they had restored his front teeth fully and he just couldn't stop smiling. Jonathan and his mother were extremely happy!

Jessica and I worked on restoring a man's last molar on his bottom left. It had a huge lesion that luckily did not reach the pulp. We managed to clean out all of the caries and restore the tooth fully with amalgam.
Christina using the NOMAD during the Root Canal Treatment
Lauren and Rupali restored this young boy's front teeth, just like Jonathan. They were able to remove all of the caries and restore his teeth fully. Losing these teeth at such a young age is so devastating for these kids. Many children as young as 13 or 14 already have partial dentures.

 After a shortened day in clinic due to the fact that we have to pack everything up and clean the clinic, we calculated that we treated at least 90 patients in 5 days. We also saw over 100 patients in the rural towns for oral hygiene instruction and screenings for future dental mission groups. Overall, we had an extremely successful mission. We did excellent dentistry and were able to provide the poor people of Guaimaca, Honduras a service they probably would never have received. We all learned so much about treating patients, patient management, new dental skills and improvising in the dental clinic. This trip has made us better dentists, built up our confidence and taught us to work with whatever we have available.

We would like to thank Sister Maria and the rest of the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation for taking care of us throught the week. Your kindess and spirt are just incredible and we couldn't have accomplished as much as we did without your help and support. 

Thank you to Alexis and Mary for making sure that we all had food and everything we needed throughout the week! You guys did an amazing job!

Thank you to Dr. Arita and Dr. Cruz for visting us at the mission and helping us in the clinic. It was an honor to meet you both and I hope we are able to do a full mission trip together in the near future.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, family and friends for your support of our work. Without you all none of this would be possible...I know that sounds corny, but it's really true!!

After clinic was finished, all of us took a tour of Guaimaca to see where most of our patients live. It was extremely interesting to see how the native people live. We took lots of pictures...

Sister Maria, Mary, Rico and the music teacher at the school all came over and sang us traditional Honduran songs. It was so much fun! We taught them the Hokie Pokie because that's what it's all about!!

We also celebrated Dr. Nader's BIRTHDAY!! Alexis made him a cake and we had green honduran wine made from blackberries. It was very interesting!

We worked on a lot of these little boys at the clinic. They were very excited to see us all in the village!

Logging is very popular in Honduras. They have beautiful forests that companies have begun to capitalize on. The mission has been working hard to get the forests surrounding Guaimaca protected by the government so that the companies are not able to cut them down. Hopefully the forests will be saved!

Finally we finished everything at the mission and we all said goodbye to our new friends. We have to get up at 4am and leave for the airport at 430a to get to our 830a flight to Roatan! We are all excited for some sun and beach!!!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Made it to Roatan!!


We all made it to Roatan safely and are enjoying the sun and beach! I will update the last clinic day and post pictures from the island tomorrow.

Thanks for following the blog! Hope you enjoyed seeing what we were able to do at the mission this past week!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday June 16, 2011

This morning Alex, Rejine and Christina B all cooked a wonderful breakfast! We had fried plantains and hard boiled eggs!

I think we have finally figured out a good rhythm with the clinic after 5 days. Today ran very smoothly and we really got a lot of excellent dentistry done. 

Sadly, our day started off with a Root Canal turned extraction on a young 18yo boy. We had to inform him that we had to pull his right front tooth because there wasn´t enough enamel left to restore it properly. Normally, we would do the root canal and then place a crown over the tooth for strength and stability, but here, there is no access to a lab or dental technician. Even if we did have access, the price would most likely be too high for the patient to pay. Hopefully the root canal we have scheduled for tomorrow morning goes better!

The NOMAD has come in really handy and has allowed us to take radiographs of questionable teeth. It´s great that we are able to take it outside and use it where we don´t have to disrupt everybody working inside the clinic!

Also, the two Honduran dentists from Teguicigalpa, Dr. Arita and Dr. Cruz, came to work with us today. It was great to have their expertise and share our passion for dentistry with dentists from another country. We are hoping to set up one of our missions in 2012 with them in Copan. 

Dr. Ngai saw a lot of kids today and unfortunately had to do a lot of extractions. It is so sad when a 9yo boy comes in for a filling on his permanent molar and it turns out to so extensive that we have to pull it. Without root canals and crowns, there is just no saving teeth with cavities so deep that they penetrate the pulp. 

All of us students have been getting a lot of experience with restoring and extracting teeth! By now we have all pulled teeth and done fillings on multiple patients. There is nothing more valuable than actually doing the procedure on a real person in order to build your confidence and understand the anatomy of the tooth!

The people here have been so generous and kind to all of us. We know how grateful they are to have us here, but we are also grateful to have the cultural experience and the opportunity to work in the rural conditions. Going on mission trips like this make us more resourceful, creative, and inventive dentists.

We are looking forward to our last clinic day tomorrow and of course are all getting super excited about ROATAN!!!!

Literally almost took this baby home!


He was so excited to get a new toothbrush and toothpaste!

Dr. Arita, Dr. Ngai and Dr. Cruz in their new white coats! Dr. Nasseri was busy with a patient!

All of us just fell in love!!!

NOMAD!! Handheld X Ray Machine!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday June 15, 2011

This morning we all went to the mission´s school to visit the students and learn about their curriculum. At the school, girls from the rural villages surrounding Guaimaca are invited to the school to learn sewing, agriculture, math, English, and science. If they complete through high school, they can get a scholarship to the Agriculture University and be able to get a really good job in the future. On weekends, they return to their families to spend time with them and teach other people in their village about what they are learning in school.

The NOMAD has been such a wonderful addition to the clinic!

We worked on Mary, the clinic manager. She needed two fillings replaced. The cavities were very extensive, but we were able to save the teeth and fill them with amalgam. Hopefully she doesn´t have sensitivity anymore!
Felipe wanted all of his remaining teeth taken out so that he can get a complete denture. It is very common here to get complete dentures instead of partial dentures because they are cheaper and the people don´t have to worry about keeping their teeth healthy anymore.
Alejandro was very excited to see the dentist! He actually had really nice teeth and only had a few cavities to get filled.

Everyone is hard at work!

Suyapa needed a lot of anterior esthetic work done. I was able to fix two of the biggest caivities, but didn´t have enough time to do all of them. Hopefully in September she can have the rest of them filled!

Everyone was very excited to have completed a successful day and are looking forward to tomorrow! Only two clinic days left!!