One Smile at a Time
Health and Wellness - Dental Mission
The goal of our Dental Missions is to educate our children and adults about the critical importance of proper oral hygiene from an early age, the dramatic effect it has on their overall health and well being, and to provide dental examinations, cleanings, fluoride treatments, restorations and extractions. In rural Jamaica, there is one dentist per 62,000 people and only 10% of children see a dentist once a year (Jamaican Observer). Dentistry is most often unaffordable and many adults only visit the dentist when they need an extraction.
Our dental missions aim to change these stark statistics. The past three dental missions have gone through an incredible evolution with increased number of volunteers, advanced equipment, ability to treat more patients, additional clinic sites and new partnerships. Our teams of professionals include dentists, oral surgeons, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. We set up a free 5-day temporary clinic(s) to administer excellent dental care and oral hygiene education to Basic and Primary School children and Tryall Club employees.
Nanci Kraus, a Tryall Club homeowner and Vice President of the Tryall Fund coordinates each Dental Mission. Every team member is responsible for bringing dental and pharmaceutical supplies. Our partner, Great Shape! 1000 Smiles provides dental delivery units, dental chairs, sterilizers and other equipment. The Tryall Club provides daily lunches and beverages, tables for supplies and transportation to and from the clinic. The Kiwanis Club of Hopewell organizes the schools that attended the missions, pre-registers the children, and provides volunteers to assist with patient flow and registration, child escorts, and instrument sterilization. Several villa owners provide housing for the dental team.
Our first eleven person dental mission in 2012 treated 395 patients, our 2013 fifteen person team treated 500 patients, our 2015 twenty two person team treated 651 patients and for the first time, we had X-ray capability with the use of the Nomad, a portable hand held X-ray unit. The 2016 Dental Mission will take place May 14-21. Nanci says “I am humbled and in awe of the love, care and professionalism of all who came together in this humanitarian effort. This experience epitomizes the spirit of “One Love”. Both patients and professionals alike have had life changing experiences though these missions.”