Olivia Masry, DDS, PC
312 Chappaqua Rd
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
May 31, 2015
We have just returned from the third annual dental mission to Jamaica on May 2-8. Our group partnered with Great Shapes and the Tryall Fund from Jamaica. We were also assisted by the Hopewell Kiwanis who pre-arranged the school visits and assisted with health questionnaires and escorting the children back and forth.
Our team consisted of three dentists, one from New York, one from Minnesota and an oral surgeon from Kingston, Jamaica. We were fortunate in having five hygienists from Argosy Dental Hygiene School in Minnesota, four recent graduates and a former hygiene instructor as well as four senior dental students from the first graduating dental school class of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. The hygiene group brought along two coordinators from their school who were instrumental in delivering interactive oral hygiene instruction with the children. Jamaica has one dentist per 17,000 in the developed areas and one per 100,000 in rural areas. The need is tremendous, and the caries rate is colossal and overwhelming.
We set up our makeshift clinic in the social hall of a school/church complex at the Hopewell Christian Deliverance Community Church in the Parish of Hanover-the poorest parish in Jamaica. We were primarily involved in treating pre-school and school age children, with different schools coming on different days. Adults were seen from 3-5. The caries rate was so severe that many children start losing teeth in preschool. I do think our outreach is making a difference as we are seeing a diminution in the severity of dental disease as compared to our first year and we see the same schools every year.
I would like to thank Henry Schein Cares Foundation for their donation of health outreach kits. The children AND adults loved getting oral care products along with instruction on better oral health management.
We treated a total of 651patients as compared to 372 our first year and around 500 the second year. We accomplished the following
426 child exams
397 fluoride treatments
410 child prophies
143 Adult exams
108 adult prophies
41 child extractions
91 adult extractions
651 patients in total were seen
The teachers and the adults that were seen were extremely grateful for our interventions. The Kiwanis asked us to make sure to come back as these patients have little to no access to dental care. I saw a fourteen year old boy who was having his first dental visit.
The local newspaper carried the news about our outreach and the 9th district dental society will be carrying an article about our mission in September. Anyone interested in joining us next year, please contact me at Olivia.firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be an experience that you will treasure.