Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dental Program

This last year we were blessed by the addition of our newest dentist, Dr. Sandra Aldana and her assistant Maria Chan to our previously two-man team of Dr. Marcos Lux and Martina Sente.  With this expansion we have been able to take monthly mobile dental teams to almost all of our communities.  Not only that, we have had the blessing to add mobile equipment to do fillings as well. 

Dr. Marcos Lux and Martina Sente in Chimente

Dra. Sandra Aldana and Maria Chan in Mactzul V
This is a great benefit for the rural population who prefer to pull a tooth rather than pay a third of a day's wage just to get to our central clinic and still have to pay for the filling.  The numbers of patients requesting fillings has really increased since we started.

Cesar Quino our ABC Coordinator holding a mirror up for Jose to see where he missed in brushing.
 Now our goal is to use our great dental team and their top-notch assistants to get all of our ABC kids evaluated on dental hygeine/brushing technique.  They are able to examine and give an objective score on the percentage of surfaces not adequately brushed. 

Tomas Sente one of the volunteers in Mactzul I teaching a family about dental hygiene.
Nicolas also showing the kids and moms how to properly brush.
This is crucial data as it allow us to triage our kids and prioritize those with good scores for restorative care, and continue encouaging those with bad scores to improve.  We have seen so many kids over the years, that after a couple of years after a filling already have new cavities (sometimes severe) in the same tooth.
Deisy brushing mom's teeth

We have talked over and over with kids and moms and dads and churches as a whole about the need for good dental hygeine and now we are putting our money where our mouth is! 

Mom brushing Elias' teeth in Mactzul II

Since January, with the help of visiting dentists and teams, we have gone out to the communities and seen 80% of the 356  kids  in the program, spending time with each individual family to show them what bad oral hygiene and good brushing look like. The parents also have to particate in the food dye activity if they still had teeth. Then everyone practices brushing their own teeth and each others'. 

Nelson brushing Mom's teeth in Mactzul II

I want to thank Kemmel for his tireless focus on the kids' dental hygiene.   He has a vision for them and their families to have good dental health and to be able to teach their own kids the same one day.   I know he feels like a broken record sometimes, but we are starting to see progress!  And thanks to our dental team of Dr. Marcos Lux, Martina Sente, Dra. Sandra Aldana and Maria Chan and all the volunteers who have helped this year--you guys are making a difference.

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