Delivering dentures to Fiji
Drs Jim Kelly, Robert Duell, Denny Chao, Christina Tran from our division, and Drs Jay Sison and Elissa Green in the surgery department helped protect and restore oral health of people in Fiji. The doctors made and delivered 19 partial dentures, 20 complete dentures, and 1 obturator. Also, 149 restorative treatments and 368 tooth extractions were provided.
After landing at the airport, we took a 4-hour boat ride to the island resort where we set up the dental equipment. There was a medical team and a dental team. The medical team would travel to different villages by boat every day to do screenings and send patients to the dental team if there is a dental need. The dental team was divided into prosthodontic, restorative, and surgery teams.
Dr. Kelly, Dr Duell, Christina, and I were part of the prosthodontic team. We made complete dentures, treatment partials, as well as an obturator. We had to make the impressions, obtain records without our routine instruments and materials, and start setting teeth on site right away. Complete dentures and obturator were heat processed while treatment partials were cold cured. Flasking was achieved with hammering down the cope and drag while processing occurred in the kitchen on the stove with thermometer for temperature control. We started patient care from 8 am to 5 pm with little break.
We got some free time before 8 am and after 5 pm for activities such as snorkeling, fishing, yoga, hiking, etc. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were prepared by onsite chefs (they have an Italian influence), and there's also a bar where we can order drinks daily.
It was an awesome experience. I learned a lot in a short amount of time!
By Denny Chao
Hearts with hope.
Our team consists of dentists, physicians, nurses, other health care auxiliary staff and volunteers that give up their time to travel far distances to help these patient populations that would otherwise have no access to healthcare. The dental team treat children and adults often time in the areas with no running water or even electricity.
PERU - We are a part of an organization called Hearts of Hope (http://www.heartswithhope.org/home/) that do a combine medical and dental outreach in various parts of Peru to help young children with congenital heat disease and to educate and treat the local populations about the importance of dental care. Our efforts through this foundation and the local Peruvian physicians and dentists, we are able to provide oral hygiene instructions, treat dental infections and basic dental and preventive are to areas that have virtually no access to dental care.
Our group has provided care for the underserved community both locally and throughout the world. When traveling abroad, we also try to work with local dentists to provide education in caring for this population. We strongly believe in giving back and leading by example.