Access to Dental Care Provided in Esteli, Nicaragua


My team of five Americans traveled to the mountainous area north of Managua to bring dental care to small communities outside of the city of Esteli, Nicaragua. Our team, comprised of American and Nicaraguan dental professionals working independent of any organization, came together to help alleviate dental pain and to teach best practices for prevention to stop needless decay and suffering.

I began visiting Nicaragua 10 years ago with a church group. I worked with my Nicaraguan translator and his brother to organize these trips.

We worked with different communities each day, setting up clinics in two churches, a home, and a garage. The locals helped by preparing the buildings with tables, chairs, refuse containers, and water.

During the four clinic days, we treated 273 patients. We could not have seen so many people without the help from our team of three dentists, two dental hygienists, two assistants, two interpreters, and one nurse. In the clinics, we performed 171 dental cleanings, 131 extractions, and 70 sealants. Each patient received a hygiene bag containing a toothbrush, floss, paste, soap, shampoo, lotion, a small toy for the children, pencils, and something to eat. Prenatal and children’s vitamins were also dispensed. Additionally, we brought and handed out clothing to the children.

We feel very blessed to be able to make these trips, but a big thank you goes to the Henry Schein Cares Foundation for the continued support and donations to our cause. Each trip is different, and each year we have been blessed to do a little more while there.

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2 Responses

  1. Marla Cohen RDH

    I would like to volunteer with your program. I have volunteered in Haiti and weekly in Florida.

  2. Sharon v Gorman

    Hi Maria, I was actually in Nicaragua when your message arrived, so I’m a bit late responding to you. Sadly, this was the last year I am going to lead a dental team down to these beautiful folks. I asked the other team members if they would take over, with no one committing to do so. I have taken teams for the last 10 years to northern Nicaragua. I plan the trips with a young Nicaraguan dentist I met years ago, so our team has always been a combined effort. We had 4 Nica dds working with us this time….along with interpreters. I am starting to have some health issues, so need to slow down a little 🙁 I will return to Nicaragua, as I love the people I have met along the way. I would love to introduce you to Dr. Larry, and maybe you could be my replacement. Let me know if you are interested. Are you a Facebook junkie? That’s how we have planned each trip over the years.
    Thanks for contacting me, and I look forward to talking again! Sharon Gorman, RDH

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