Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Improving Access to Dental Care in Saipan

We didn't have to talk about money or what their insurance co-payment was. We were just there to get people out of pain and discomfort. We came together as a team and shared the same heart as Jesus: to serve others.
I feel like this is what I came here to do. To be able to provide dental treatment to those who really need it.
Ever heard of someone who lived with a toothache for more than a year? On Sunday we saw plenty of patients who put up with pain for over a year due to financial restraints or lack of insurance to visit their dentist. We saw 66 patients and did over 80 dental procedures. Dr. Crystal Edmister and Dr. Ken Pierson extracted over forty teeth as well as other dental procedures like fillings. The other registered dental hygienist, Lori and I did a bunch of gross debridements on patients who hadn't seen the dentist in over 10 years. We provided over $10,000 worth of dental procedures. I think it was a success. Here's an article about our event in the Saipan Tribune news.

But still the sad fact is 40 percent of the population in the U.S. is not getting the dental care they need. I read the Surgeon General's Report 2000, Oral Health In America, and it called untreated poor health the "silent x-factor promoting the onset of life-threatening diseases which are responsible for the deaths of millions of Americans each year." Its a serious matter and unfortunately it doesn't get as much attention as it should.
Access to dental care is limited. I've seen it on my dental mission trips not only in Saipan but in other countries like the Philippines and Mexico.
Its hard because coming out of dental hygiene school you want to go out and make a difference. Now that I am out here I am realizing how great the epidemic is and how short handed we are. So, I guess I can only do what I can . . . save one mouth at a time.
Photo Credit: the Pierson's and Kuya Ernie


Steve Nguyen said...

Bev, I think you guys are awesome! Thank you for giving back to the community. I'm sure the people who came for the dental care REALLY appreciated it.

Sean said...

Great job!

Bill said...

Good work, Bev. I am a 60+ male who needs several thousand dollars of dental work. While searching dental tourism I thought of Saipan. We'll be spending a week there in December. I see there are some private clinics. In your opinion is there a good clinic doing sedation dentistry and implants?


dayo said...

Thanks for providing your nice information. I like your site!! I invite you to take a tour on my dayodental website for more details at Dentist In Mexico

Edward Puriski said...

This blog is really informative i really had fun reading it.it is really beneficial.

denture repairs and relines chicago
quality denture repairs

Edward Puriski said...

I would like to thank you for the efforts youve got produced in writing this article. I am hoping the same finest operate from you inside the potential also. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to start my personal BlogEngine weblog now.

denture repairs and relines chicago
quality denture repairs

Donnie Smith said...

Dental care services should be regulated everywhere. dental holidays