HumAnitAriAn SErvicE opportunitiES
By Dr. Karl Koerner, the Academy’sArea Service Coordinator for China/Asia
In April this year, two humanitarian proj-ects in China were led by members o the Academy o LDS Dentists. They were heldduring the same period o time (April20–30), included about the same number o people (18–20), and were similar in thetype o dental work that was done. Many hundreds o dental procedures were per-ormed, along with participating in other activities as mentioned below.The type o dental work perormed ran thegamut—restorative, oral surgery, biopsy,endodontics, scaling and root planing, andoral hygiene instruction. We also scheduledtime to go to local high schools and univer-sities to speak to students on dentistry andoral hygiene. In Xi’an, participants had achance to work with about 50 handicappedorphans in the Starsh Foster Home runby
an LDS Church mem-ber rom South Arica.
is a city in the center o China witha populationo about 8million andis home tothe Terracotta Warriors.The other trip was to a small town called
closer to Shanghai and Nanjing.Each group consisted o eight dentists, twohygienists, and other support personnel.The group in Suqian included a plasticsurgeon who did clet lip and palate repair. We have been to Suqian three other timesand to Xi’an once beore.
Dr. Delmar Gray
o Boise, Idaho, and
Dr. James Shu
,an LDS prosthodontist who practices inBeijing, China, led the trip to Xi’an.
rom Draper, Utah, and
rom St. George, Utah, led theone to Suqian. It is likely that trips to thesesame cities will be held again next year (May 2013), possibly with the addition o
.The model we use is to nd a privatedental clinic or hospital with 15–30 den-tal operatories. We arrange to use six o those units to work on indigents in thecity, mostly children ages 8–18 (many areorphans) and the elderly rom retirementhomes. Clet palate patients are nearly always inants. We negotiate to use their acilities or ree. What they get in returnare a large amount o letover donateddental supplies and the opportunity to ex-change treatment methods and ideas withtheir American counterparts. Our cliniciansgenerally give seminars to local dentists. While there, we usually also take suppliesand cash to orphanages and institutions or the handi-capped. We havealways been warmly re-ceived andstrongly welcomedto return.In our luggage, we took well over 1,000oral hygiene kits; thousands o dollars’ worth o dental supplies; toys or children;and blankets, caps, and clothes or orphanso all ages.It is not required or participants to speakChinese, but many do. Mandarin-speakingLDS returned-missionary dentists havegone, along with non-LDS Mandarin-speaking dentists. Many participants havebeen on these trips multiple times. Some who are new to the Chinese language havelearned to speak enough Chinese to befuent at chairside and in other situations.This year we had a waiting list o dentists who wanted to go. At the end o thetrips there were two days o sightseeing,one group going to Beijing (Great Wall,Forbidden City, etc.) and one group toGuilin. The total cost or this experience isabout $2,100 per person, not including visaand immunizations.
By Roger and Julie Roth, servicevolunteers: dentist and hygienist
We love it here!I graduated rom dental school in 1972,and my wie,
, rom dental hygieneschool in 1971, so we are both in our ourth decade o dentistry. We are calledas service volunteers in Samoa and not setapart as missionaries. We have enjoyed our dental careers, butour experience here has ar exceeded insatisaction and enjoyment anything wehave previously experienced. “It is a ar,ar better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a ar, ar better rest that I go to,than I have ever known” (Charles Dickens,
A Tale of Two Cities
). This is how we eel!There are other LDS dentists rom our area who are interested in coming here,and there is room or anyone who is in-terested. Just coordinate with
). We love it here so much; they may need to bury us here!
, BSDH, rom Ogden, Utah, camein June or two weeks. Providing clean-ings and education, in our opinion, isone o the biggest needs the people herehave.
We need more hygienists.
Most adult patients have accumulated alietime buildup o calculus (we call it coralhere) and moderate to severe periodontaldisease. They have not been taught aboutoral hygiene or the eects o neglectingtheir teeth and gums. When we discussit, they are amazed at the inormation andexcited to try to change the condition o their mouths. Habits are hard to break or begin, but it is a move in the right direc-tion. There is so much potential to dosome good here. We do exams, cleanings, restorative,extractions, endo (mostly anterior andbicuspids) and some interim partials or fippers (which usually turn out to be per-manent!). We have our or ve Samoan
Dr. Eric Anderton teaching at chairside Dr. Yin Hsu from Boston doing triage Break Time Li River in Guilin Spending time with severely autistic children