Jamaica Outreach Program Dental Mission, March 26-30, 2014
Our dental team consisted of professionals from Massachusetts, Montreal, Canada and Florida. They came to us through the grace of God and a little networking on our part. Each of them worked tirelessly day after day to get the job done and at the end of the third ten hour day, they were still smiling (although very tired) and enjoying every minute of their venture. They worked through brownouts, faulting equipment, and never lost their enthusiasm.
Interaction with the local Jamaican residents was incredible and the warmth of the smiles combined with the gratitude of the patients made it a highly rewarding endeavor for our volunteers.
In all 127 patients were treated. (76 full cleanings, 26 fillings, 42 extractions, 10 surgical procedures plus 11 consultations which resulted in referrals to oral surgeons etc.) Many received free medications for infection and pain, all received dental kits consisting of brushes, paste and floss donated by the missionaries. Unfortunately, many had to be referred to our next dental mission because of our inability to handle the need. All in all, we were rewarded by many smiling faces leaving the clinic.
In addition to the actual treatments, our hygienists conducted three educational sessions in the DuPont Primary School auditorium consisting of basic introduction to dental hygiene, teeth checked for treatment needs (11 treated immediately and 50 at a future date), and handing out toothbrushes, toothpaste and other items. Approximately 308 students were involved and the sessions were very dynamic and extremely interactive.
We have a group from Atlanta, GA in place to conduct the September 10, 2014 dental mission trip, and a Springfield, MA Dental professional has come forward and agreed to organize and head up the November 19th. mission. At present, we are half staffed for the July 23 mission trip and still in need of one dentist, one assistant and two additional hygienists. The October 15th mission has a few hygienists and assistants offering their services and we are always looking for dental professionals to staff our future missions. If any of you know of other dental professionals (family, friends and acquaintances) anywhere in the US who might be willing to give of their time and energy for this service, please refer them to me, Roger Plante, for follow-up. Many will be needed to make future missions a success. (firstname.lastname@example.org – 239-948-2145).
See mission trip photos here. Photos are limited because the Jamaica Ministry of Health no longer allows photos in health facilities.