The Marconi Dental Group enjoys being involved with the community of Carmichael and beyond. Therefore, a team composed of staff members from our practice and led by Dr. Ashkan Alizadeh went to the Dominican Republic from March 3 rd to the 10th, 2018. There they performed over four hundred procedures and treatments for small villages of sugar cane plantation workers in the vicinity of La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Supporting the Good Samaritan Hospital
This medical mission trip was first suggested to the Marconi Dental Group by the Scheduling Institute, a consulting firm that helps our staff to be patient-focused in everything we do. They recommended working with World Mission Partners, a charitable organization that provides planning and logistics for doctors, dentists and construction workers to help poor communities in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Dr. Alizadeh signed up for a mission in January of 2017, and after more than a year of preparation, it was time to depart.
The team flew and drove nearly all day on the 3rd to reach the community of La Romana. After a Sunday orientation, the team was in the field on Monday, assisted by translators with the Good Samaritan Hospital. From the start, they were out visiting bateyes, the plantation villages of sugar cane harvesters. The majority of these workers are Haitian immigrant families, living on approximately $8 per day in a state of indentured servitude. As a result, they have little money for oral hygiene and dental care. Therefore, from the team’s first arrival, every stop had many eager patients waiting in line for treatments.
The dental team was provided with a donated RV fitted out as a mobile dental clinic (see above). Two dental chairs allowed for more complicated dental procedures, while a lawn chair was also recruited into service so the team could serve even more needy people. Mouths were examined and difficult cases were referred to the Good Samaritan dental clinic for later in the mission trip. Others were helped immediately with cleanings, fluoride treatments, and fillings where possible, and many extractions to relieve toothache and remove teeth damaged or diseased beyond repair.
Educating Dental Clinicians
The new dental clinic at the hospital was paid for by donations from dentists associated with the Scheduling Institute. A respected firm specializing in dentistry, Design Ergonomics, donated the plan for a modern clinic, which opened in 2017. The Marconi Dental Group spent a day here, treating more difficult cases and helping the local clinicians learn how to use the new equipment and perform more complex procedures.
Assisting Dominican School Children and Others
Educational programs about oral hygiene at area elementary schools were followed by more treatments with fluoride and medicine to fight intestinal parasites. Over a hundred students were seen at their schools, in addition to the many children visited in the bateyes. Along with medicine for children, reading glasses and sunglasses were distributed to adults. In all, the staff completed the following procedures over four days:
- 66 tooth extractions
- 33 dental cleanings
- 240 fluoride treatments
- Over 100 parasite treatments
- Distribution of 50 pairs of reading glasses and many pairs of sunglasses
In every community, the patients were extremely grateful for the help and assistance, leaving the team tired, but fulfilled.
This visit emphasized the vital importance of brushing and flossing for maintaining dental health. Dr. Alizadeh stated that while many patients in La Romana had severe tooth decay, he sees similarly diseased teeth right here in the United States, where oral hygiene is extremely inexpensive and available. “Brushing and flossing your teeth daily prevents cavities. Nothing is more important for preserving your teeth.” Visiting our Carmichael dental office is critical for solving problems with your teeth and preventing them, but daily home dental care is vital for your health and well-being.
To learn more about the Marconi Dental Group mission trip to the Dominican Republic, ask our staff about it the next time you visit our clinic. We are happy to tell you about this gratifying experience.